Rank/Name: PV3 B. Kyle Green
Hometown: Wilmington, Ohio
Branch: United States Army
Unit: 2/502 Delta Company 101st Infantry Regiment
Service Dates: 2005-2007
HASOF Whiskey Co. has made a $500 donation in cash and products to Operation Cherrybend in honor of PV3 B. Kyle Green.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Kyle Green was born on August 7, 1985 to Christine Green and Robert Vance. After a short stint at Wilmington College, he decided to visit the local recruiter's office. He was met at the door by the Marine recruiter. He had always wanted to be a Marine, but unfortunately, the tattoo on his back was an eighth of an inch too high on his neck disqualifying him from the branch of service that was his preference. Determined to serve his country in some way, he left the Marine recruiters office and went across the hall to speak with the Army recruiter. Their tattoo regulations weren't near as stringent as the Marine's, so he was already one step closer to his goal. He had every intention of selecting a MOS that was in the medical field, but all of those jobs had at minimum a six month wait to deploy for basic training.
Kyle was young and full of vigor and naivete, so patience wasn't a learned virtue yet. He wanted to leave as soon as possible so he could start the next chapter in his life, get away from some of the people and the things he was doing in his life at the time, and become something better than he had been. The recruiter said that he could do one of three jobs and leave within the week. He could either be a truck driver, a cook or an infantryman. After giving him those options, he followed that up with a little advice. He said, “Honestly, if it were me, I would pick Infantry. It doesn't matter what MOS you pick, you are going to Iraq. You might as well pick the job that is going to teach you how to fight!” Four days later, on July 13th 2005, Kyle flew from Columbus, Ohio to Columbus, Georgia to begin OSUT training, otherwise known as "One Station Unit Training".
All throughout basic training, Kyle was always a cut above the rest of the recruits. He was appointed squad leader by the drill sergeants. He always had a perfect PT score or higher. He won the heavy weight ground fighting techniques tournament and was given his first commanders coin by the battalion commander. He was a sharpshooter with the M16, hitting 34 out of 40 targets in rifle qualifications. If you were doing a fantasy soldier draft, Kyle would have been one of the first soldiers off the board. Four weeks before graduation, everyone received their letters assigning them to their infantry regiment. Kyle was heading to the 25th ID in Hawaii. He was sad that he wasn't going to be closer to family and friends, but those feelings were outweighed by the excitement of going to such a beautiful place. Not to mention the 25th ID was quite the reputable infantry regiment. The very next day he was given a different letter with different orders. He was no longer going to Hawaii. No more beach. No more sunny skies. No more beautiful people getting tan with fruity drinks. Nope... PVT Green was reassigned to Ft. Campbell, KY, Home of the Screaming Eagles!
Kyle arrived at Ft. Campbell on November 18th and was assigned to Delta company 2/502. The 101st had already been deployed for six months prior to his arrival so they had every intention of getting him ready to send as well. It only took them a little over two months to get all of their ducks in a row to get him ready to fly over. On February 3rd, 2006 PFC Kyle Green flew from Ft. Campbell, Kentucky to Kuwait for acclimation training. Now, it was to Kyle's understanding that he would be assigned all of the gear that he had not yet been issued in Kuwait (to include a weapon) and that acclimation training was supposed to be a mandatory two weeks. Neither of these ended up being true in his specific circumstance. He wasn't issued several minor items due to the fact that the Central Issuing Facility had simply “run out of things” including M4s. Several of the soldiers, including Kyle, were also placed on a C-130 and flown into Baghdad after only 3 days of acclimation training. In summary, Kyle was dropped into a red zone with 3 days to acclimate and no weapon to defend himself.
From the initial drop into Baghdad, Kyle and three other soldiers from the 101st were put up in a tent on Camp Striker where they were told to wait for their respective companies to come pick them up. They had been briefed earlier in the day by a company commander who had informed them that all of their companies were outside the wire on specific missions and that they were aware that Kyle and the other three soldiers were waiting for them on Striker for pick up. Kyle's Company, Delta company to be specific, was pulling a security detail on the perimeters of Yusufiya and Sadr City. These two points were two of the three points that were infamously named "The Triangle of Death" and was known as one of the most active combat zones in the entire war. After three days of life on Camp Striker, Kyle's Company came for him.
Being the new guy in the company was tough for Kyle. Not only was he in a strange new place with people he didn't know yet, but It was a stressful environment. Any wrong move could be the last for all of them and his platoon leader didn't allow for any kind of learning curve. Every night was a dismounted patrol where Kyle was the door breach. His job was to kick down the door of these presumably innocent people's homes, tear their two or three-room dirt hut apart looking for illegal weapons, cell phones, American money, or anything that could be used to make an improvised explosive device and then walk out and leave the mess behind for them to clean up without a word. It was a necessary evil and he understood why he was doing it, but it was still hard to tear up homes like that while children were watching terrified and not understanding the purpose.
THE DAY IT ALL CHANGED
After several days of being with his company, pulling the security detail that they had been doing for several months without him, his platoon leader decided to do a dismounted patrol in the afternoon. He had gotten some intel that there may be some insurgents in a village nearby, so they took a squad of seven soldiers by foot and went house to house looking for anything they could find to verify said info.
After clearing all the homes on one side of the canal they noticed that there was an Iraqi man praying in the middle of the road in the middle of the day. This is an unusual practice for their religion so they crossed the bridge and approached the man. Kyle was asked to search him, but when asked to turn around he wouldn't do it. When he was asked to turn around a second time and Kyle tried to forcefully help him around, his platoon sergeant forcefully assisted. He then turned around and Kyle could conduct a thorough search. He was clear, but it was still a very unusual encounter. On the other side of the road opposite of the first village that was searched by the squad was a second smaller village, that Kyle and his company proceeded to search as well. Kyle ended up finding a few cell phones that could have been used as remote detonators, a couple of illegal AK-47s and some American money. Once they finished searching the other village the reconvened on the road where they had encountered the Iraqi man that was praying on the road. Kyle's platoon sergeant told him to just throw the stuff that he had confiscated into the canal because it was deep and the Iraqis would never be able to retrieve it from there.
Kyle walked back down to the bridge that his whole squad had previously walked over once before. As he stood there, he watched the AKs hit the water, then the cell phones. As the last cell phone broke the plane of the water it went form the vision of seeing the ripples that the phone made hitting the water to smoke and fire. He went from being vertical to horizontal with no recollection of the time in between. There was the sound of water splashing to the sound that high frequency electricity makes when you turn a TV on but amplified significantly. Seconds felt like hours... Then he felt it.
Something like a burning bolt of lightning through his left leg. He was able to sit up and grab at his leg out of desperation only to find his leg was covered in blood. There was a huge hole in his ACUs so he frantically tore at them to see what the source of the blood was. As soon as he removed enough cloth to see what was going on, blood shot from his leg with every heartbeat. Then he saw the Doc tumbling down the berm to assess the situation. He immediately grabbed his tourniquet and put it under Kyle's leg. Kyle suddenly started to become more conscious of the situation and realized that they had been ambushed from both sides of the road. Both villages had come out firing on their squad after they had detonated a small improvised explosive that was under the bridge Kyle had been standing on. While he was in the air, he was hit in the left leg by an AK-47 7.62mm round barely nicking his femoral artery. It was significant enough to warrant the field medic to apply the tourniquet. Kyle said that out of everything that happened to him that day, which included shrapnel in the shoulder, a dislocated jaw, and a traumatic brain injury, the tourniquet was by far the most painful thing that he felt that day.
(Post injury in Balad, Iraq. This is where Kyle was flown to via helicopter after sustaining his injuries. It just so happened that after his surgeries that morning, the country band Montgomery Gentry was playing a concert for the wounded soldiers and were gracious enough to take a photo!)
Needless to say, Kyle's squad extinguished the enemy that day with only one casualty. After everything had settled down and they were waiting for the bird to fly him out, they were hit by a single mortar that severely damaged Staff Sergeant Richard's leg. He ended up needing several surgeries due to infection. Kyle's deployment lasted a grand total of 17 days, so if anybody questions what Iraq is like or what The Triangle of Death is, forward them this story because we think it's a pretty good indication of how crazy and unpredictable it really was.
HOW IS KYLE NOW?
When he first got out it was pretty tough for him. He didn't know that he had a TBI or PTSD or any of those acronyms, so he just thought he could go back to living life like he did before the military. The problem with that was he wasn't able to assimilate in public without getting into altercations. He was always angry and expressing it violently. He went to school for nursing and did OK, but it wasn't perfection like he expected. He was working with an injured brain without his knowledge.
He moved to Houston, Texas with his wife Jennifer where he intended on finishing his Bachelor's in Nursing. Unfortunately, all of the schools in Texas are on semester schedules and the school he was going to in Ohio was on a quarterly schedule. None of the Texas schools were willing to accept his full transfer, but they would take some of it. With the help of the Houston VA and their Medical staff he found out that he had a significant TBI and that it was healing, but he had an uphill battle with his emotional issues.
The hospital and education department gave him a wealth of support. This resulted in a degree change where he just finished his Bachelor's degree from The University of Texas at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Radiography with an emphasis in CT and Interventional Technology. He graduated Suma Cum Laude with a 3.833 and was voted as the most outstanding student by the faculty. He is the proud father of a 6 year old son named Titan who is his best buddy in the world, and a 2 and half year old daughter named Nova who is his little princess. Kyle's wife Jennifer has been his number one fan, advocate and best friend. He can confidently say that he would be nothing without her!