A gunfight between the Taliban and US forces in eastern Kunar Province, Afghanistan, has gone viral.
The first-person helmet cam video (see below), filmed by Pfc. Ted Daniels who was wounded in the process, has been viewed about 23 million times so far.
Daniels, a very brave soldier, explained to CBS News what happened during the firefight:
“It started when he purposely moved into the open, drawing fire on himself to protect the seven men in his unit …’You know, tactically, it was not a sound thing to do. But I also remember Murphy’s Laws of Combat. If it’s stupid, but works, it isn’t stupid.’
“Then a Taliban bullet hit part of his gun. It flew out of his hand … ‘It was almost like if you took an aluminum baseball bat and hit a metal pole with it. That’s what my hand felt like. I was actually afraid at first to look down at my hand, wanted to make sure I still had all my fingers and everything else.’ “
The Washington Post notes that the gripping combat video gives a seldom-seen perspective of the war:
“The power of Daniels’s video lies in its ability to deliver the viewer directly to the battlefield. Viewers can hear Daniels panting, his boots crunching on rocky ground and the snap of enemy bullets as they pass by his head. The perspective is familiar — it is the same as Call of Duty and other combat video games.”
Daniels, a former cop, originally uploaded the footage to a private YouTube channel, but YouTube user Funk350 asked him he could post it to a channel featuring combat footage from Afghanistan. From there it went viral.
Watch Pfc. Daniel’s helmet camera video of the Afghanistan machine gun firefight: