February 4, 2009

Wednesday Hero - Gunnery Sgt. Nick Popaditch

Gunnery Sgt. Nick Popaditch
Gunnery Sgt. Nick Popaditch
USMC

In 2003, Sgt. Popaditch, along with 1st Tank Battalion, rolled into Baghdad from Kuwait at the start of the Iraq War. They had just taken the city and the tank that Sgt. Popaditch was in had rolled up to a 40-ft statue of Saddam. I think we all remember that statue. Popaditch was given a cigar by a fellow Marine and as he smoked it an AP photographer snapped a picture of him.

Fast forward to April 7, 2004. Sgt. Popaditch's wife was vacationing with their son when she received a phone call informing her that her husband had been injured in an attack. The turret of his tank, that he was situated in, had taken two direct hits from RPG's. He fell through the hatch to the floor of the tank. As he struggled to his feet, he began to shout orders to his men but go no response. He then realized that the attack had caused him to go deaf in both ears. But that was only temporary. He then reached up and felt that his head was wet and knew it wasn't good.

In the aftermath of the attack, Gunnery Sgt. Nick Popaditch had lost his right eye. And because of that he now proudly wears a prosthetic eye with the Marine Corps. logo embossed on it. On November 10, 2005 Gunnery Sgt. Nick Popaditch was awarded the Silver Star, the nation's third-highest award for heroism in combat. He also has a book out titled Once A Marine.

You can read more about Gunnery Sgt. Nick Popaditch here and here.


These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

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1 comment:

Tammy@savasbeatie said...

Hello,

I enjoyed your post about "Once a Marine."

Below is a link to a Hollywood-style book trailer for "Once a Marine: An Iraq War Tank Commander's Inspirational Memoir of Combat, Courage, and Recovery," by Nick Popaditch with Mike Steere (Savas Beatie, October 1, 2008).

http://www.onceamarine.com/once-a-marine-movie

Make sure you watch to the very end for a "special" photo message from "Gunny Pop" Nick. I know you will appreciate seeing him.

Nick "Gunny Pop" Popaditch is a former marine Gunnery Sergeant, a Silver Star winner, a 15-year veteran of the USMC, and was widely known around the world as "The Cigar Marine:" (Google it.). His tanks captured Firdos "Saddam" square in April 2003 and pulled down the hated statue. Nick was severely wounded one year later with an RPG to the head, which was captured live by a media news crew. He had to fight his way through an incredible odyssey of turmoil, heartbreak, and bureaucracy to recover everything he had lost. His website is www.onceamarine.com.

If you know anyone in the media who you think would be interested in interviewing "Gunny Pop," don't hesitate to call or email them and let them know.

We appreciate your support of Nick and his family in any way you are able. The success of this book will open doors for this blind warrior, and hopefully provide revenue and success to someone who has sacrificed so much for his country.

Thank you.

Tammy Hall
Sacramento, California