Ben Webb, Not Your Average American

We don’t know their faces and they don’t know ours. Yet, they choose to live their lives to serve and protect us at any cost. They leave their families to fight for ours. They train through pain, travel to foreign lands, live through gunfire and bombs and risk their lives, so that we can live in peace under the American flag. These are not your average Americans. These are United States warriors. Marine Staff Sergeant Benjamin Webb is one warrior who stood with many to fight back the gates of Hell, so that the evil in one land would not spill more blood in ours.

During Webb's first combat mission in 2004, under heavy enemy fire in the Khost Province in Afghanistan, Ben stood firm with his unit. As a machine gunner in the turret of his armored vehicle, strapped and loaded, he unleashed bullet after bullet, knowing that at any moment, an opposing bullet could find its way into one of his fellow Marines. Hot, sweaty and with fatigue pressing in, he never wavered. That is, until the explosion of a roadside IED. With his legs braced and upper body scanning and turning while firing, the shockwave of the explosion ripped into his vehicle. With the entire front end destroyed, what was left of the vehicle went into a violent roll, ejecting Ben from the turret. His unit found him lying face down and unconscious.

Two days prior, Ben had lost his friend to a different roadside IED blast. The impact of that explosion, which was just beneath the vehicle, propelled it into a hard roll, ejecting Ben’s good friend and ending his life and the life of the driver.

After Ben was ejected from the turret, his eyes blinked open to see his fellow Marine standing over him, showing him fingers and moving his lips. Due to the shockwave of the explosion, Ben’s eardrums had been perforated (one of five times in his combat history) and he suffered a grade three concussion, the first of many.

It was then that Ben knew “this is it.” While lying in the hospital, recovering from his wounds, he had time to reflect on recent events. The culmination of the 2,977 lives lost in 9/11, the loss of his close friend and experiencing his first attack that resulted in severe injuries, led to Ben’s steadfast mindset of never relenting, never ceasing. He would do whatever it took to avenge every American life that was lost to the hands of our enemies. “I chose this,” said Ben.

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