I've blogged on the outrageous predicament in which Walt Gaya finds himself in, but I wanted to take a moment to remember the other half of the "Walter and Adam Fund", Adam Plumondore. According to Michael Yon, Walt kept a little shrine to Adam, or Plum as he was known, in his quarters while he was in Mosul.
When Gaya was injured in Mosul it was by an IED-
"The heavy Stryker flew into the air, blasting tires asunder, one tire flying more than a hundred yards. The explosion was so hard that it traumatized the tailbones of the men. The blast ripped through the bottom of the Strkyer and straight into an AT-4 missile, cutting the missile in half, but neither the missile nor the propellant exploded."
Of all the men on board, only Gaya was injured badly enough that his war was over- the rest received only minor injuries. The Stryker was so badly damaged that Michael Yon reported that he was unable to imagine how those men survived. He asked the driver of the Stryker about it and was told
"We had angels watching us."
The driver explained his reasoning to a sceptical Yon-
"Well, there is no other way to explain how we survived, except that Plum and Rat [another of the unit's snipers who was killed in Mosul] were there, and they stopped the blast. I know they were there. Plum and Rat held up their hands to save us. They stopped the blast. They were there."
Strangely enough at the memorial service for Adam, LTC. Kurilla said,
"We will miss them both terribly, but I know that our Deuce Four snipers, Gerty [SPC Clint Gertson] and Plum, are looking down from Heaven continuing to look out for us – that voice you hear in your head is Gerty calling the winds, Plum ensuring you have the correct distance, and both always reminding you to always look for the positive in life."
The men of Recon Platoon had this to say about Adam-
"Sergeant Plumondore was a tremendous soldier, a respected leader, and a great friend. He was a man of great strength, unending talent, and deep compassion. His spirit will live on forever with the men here who loved him and served with him. We want his family to know that our thoughts and prayers are with them in this time of need and that he will always be in our hearts, and we will never forget him."
Rivrdog wrote this about "Plum"-
"Sgt. Plumondore had volunteered for his final patrol in place of a comrade. As an NCO, he probably could have taken a safer position within the vehicle, but instead, served the roof-ring mounted heavy weapon on the open top of his vehicle, where he was more effective with his shooting skills."
He was 22 years old when he was killed in Iraq. I regret to say that I never knew the man- but I would have been honoured to have met with him.