A Different Tale from Fallujah

Twelve years ago Operation Phantom Fury, AKA the second battle of Fallujah, was raging. On the ten year anniversary, we brought you a tiny sliver of the battle. Today, we bring you another, though this time with a modern outcome. It comes from Travis Pollok, a Marine who served with 3/5 India:


[Pollok, second from right]

12 years ago, I was in a shithole of a city, in a sandbox of a country, looking for a couple goatfuckers who had just killed a Marine in my platoon. As we were about to enter a house a door on my right erupted with machine gun fire striking me multiple times up my left side. I immediately hit the ground. I tried standing up and that didn’t work (found out later the top of my femur had separated from the rest). I was told I attempted to point my rifle in the direction of fire but all I remember was darkness and an intense amount of gunfire followed by my screaming as I was drug out by my vest. I woke up about 8 days later in Bethesda. I was mobile enough in April to meet my unit as they returned home so my dad drove me from San Antonio to Camp Pendleton.

After a couple of days of heavy drinking and stories I was told they had a surprise for me. My friend Rick had “imported” the bolt from the AK that I was shot with. I really didn’t know what to say, but I was extremely grateful. I knew I would cherish it forever and pass it on.

Fast forward about 10 years and I told Brent the story. He told Gary and Mike and got with Cody (hopefully I’m not forgetting anyone). They all pitched in and built me this rifle. When they said what they wanted to do I didn’t know if I could accept such a graceful gift. I still don’t think I deserve it, but I know this: it is my most prized possession.

If I could only keep one firearm it would be this rifle. It took me a while to write this mainly because I’m terrible with words and do not like talking about myself. I wrote this to show my appreciation for those guys. I can never express how grateful I am.


The work was done by MOD Outfitters, and you can visit them online here.


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