In an interview with the Independent Journal Review, U.S. Army infantryman and Sergeant Jay Strobino let his thoughts be known. Strobino was shot 13 times and served two tours in Iraq. His story is truly inspiring.
By Justen Charters
Strobino was in the middle of a firefight in a small Iraqi city when a team he was working with got pinned down behind a truck. He rushed around the corner to grab the barrel of an insurgent’s AK-47 so he could control his rifle while he fired at Strobino.
But the enemy came around the corner of the house before Strobino could reach him. The Army sergeant shot the terrorist in the chest — making him fall back. But not before the terrorist managed to fire off a series of rounds into Strobino. One struck his femur.
Strobino went back around the building for cover, then fell because his leg was broken. He was on his weapon, which was stuck, unable to use his right arm. Pulling his grenade out of his pack, he handed it to his buddy.
But the enemy who shot Strobino threw a grenade at the truck first. It went off. And another buddy of his yelled. The guy followed the sound by spraying his AK-47 — firing at Strobino again.
“Through my forearm hitting my ulnar nerve; through my chest, my right lung; a tracer round came in my right shoulder, bounced off of my scapula and then ripped through my neck.
Multiple rounds went through my right upper leg, decimating roughly 8 inches of my femur and a large portion of that quad group.”
“There aren’t rules and there isn’t a system of loyalty in Iraq. One thing we did on my first tour was help with the vegetable, meat, and grain markets.
We had a certain set of rules established for the market. The meat needed to come from a certified butcher for health-related reasons.
That didn’t matter to many of the merchants, though. They slaughtered cows in the street. The beef could have been diseased, they didn’t care.
We constantly struggled with these merchants on a daily basis. They would yes you to death, but then you would leave. Later on that day or the next day, you’d be back because they butchered another cow.”
“The jails were run down and half-destroyed. We were trying to get the police force back. We would tell the police-in-training to go do basic things like monitor traffic.
But if we weren’t babysitting them, they weren’t doing their job. We would find them at coffee shops or just back at the police station instead of where they needed to be.”
“I met a lot of wonderful people in Iraq as well. I’ve had tea with them. I’ve had meals with them.
But the people who hated America or had no loyalty to anything were willing to do whatever to get ahead or hurt Americans. So it’s easy to understand the reason for the ‘extreme vetting,’ it will hopefully ultimately make our country a safer place for everyone.”