Daren Connell Personal History
Personal History by SPC Daren L. Connell
Please add my name to Bravo Co 5/18 3rd platoon roster as a dismount. I was in track B31. Trained as dismount, acted as assistant gunner. Now 30% disabled by DSS I would like to know if anyone else in the company has had any bad outcome from the chem contact or the lil red/pink pills or shots they had us take; like to think that I may not be alone in my day to day fight with the jingling of pills in my pocket.
Secondly, I know of the conditions in which PFC Gooch of my company became a recipient of the Purple Heart awarded to him during the desert op:
We had being moving NW in a tactical bound for about 24 hrs when the tracks all lurched to a stop. I being asst gunner had a comm. set and listened in as all hell broke loose with everyone repeating sit reports to the others and telling everyone to hold in place. After about an hour of passing around a full piss bottle it was commanded that we were allowed to make a partial lower of the rear door and that we could urinate off the side of the deck but were not allowed to place one foot in the sand. It was first then brought to everyone's knowledge that we must be in a mind field. You see, the track in which Gooch was in had apparently found a bouncing betty the hard way, or was that the easy way? I'm not sure. The concussion of the blast had loosened a bolt within the vehicle a transformed it into a bullet which caused a nasty whole and burn in his right shoulder blade.
*NOTE* All this that I write comes from the way Gooch told it to me many years ago and the years may have glamorized it a bit but I know the information to be true to the best of my knowledge.
After thanking the God of the Commander's bladder and wondering how in this climate you could put 24oz of fluids in yet release 36oz we began to close up and make a descent from our present position. Notice that I didn't say retreat, descent sounds like a maneuver while a re-treat sounds like something you have the day after Halloween and not something the Army can ever afford to do. After an hour of slowly back tracking in our windblown footprints and attempting to call the engineers with there high-tech mine killing scoop dozers we felt safe enough to pivot and proceeded to bound around what we thought to be the edge of the mine field, thank God our Top was right.
Thanks to all who I served with in the Gulf and in Germany for not letting me have a footnote to a casualty or injury"CAUSE UNKNOWN".
A Purple Heart is a great remembrance of an accomplishment only if you can survive long enough to appreciate it. Thank you for your time, effort, and patriotism in the line of duty or, as many of us have chosen to be, as citizens.
Sincerely, SPC Connell, Daren L. ret/disabled