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British Corporal Pun Awarded Military Honor
And the story of his unparalleled bravery in Afghanistan
maria_donnini@yahoo.com
| June 3, 2011
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When surrounded by enemies and faced with the unthinkable, one courageous man refused to give up hope. Corporal Dipprasad Pun, a Nepalese soldier in the British army, single-handedly fought off more than 30 Taliban fighters who had surrounded his checkpoint near Babaji in Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan, last September.When surrounded by enemies and faced with the unthinkable, one courageous man refused to give up hope. Corporal Dipprasad Pun, a Nepalese soldier in the British army, single-handedly fought off more than 30 Taliban fighters who had surrounded his checkpoint near Babaji in Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan, last September. On Wednesday, Queen Elizabeth II awarded Pun a top bravery honor for his heroics. In a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, he was presented the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross (CGC), which is given in recognition of acts of conspicuous gallantry during active operations against the enemy and is second only to the Victoria Cross. "There wasn't any choice but to fight. The Taliban were all around the checkpoint. I was alone . . . I had so many of them around me that I thought I was definitely going to die so I thought I'd kill as many of them as I could before they killed me," Pun recalled. In that frame of mind, he gave it his all. The 31-year-old fired more than 400 rounds, launched 17 grenades and detonated a mine to terminate the assault. For 15 minutes, Pun remained under continuous attack from all sides. He was besieged by rocket-propelled grenades and AK47 guns. At one point, unable to shoot, he used his machine gun tripod to knock down a militant who was climbing the walls of the compound. And even when Pun ran out of ammunition, he set off a Claymore mine to repel the two insurgents who were still attacking. That day has changed his perspective on the enemy forever: "After that I thought, nobody can kill us now. When we met the enemy I wasn't scared." Britain's Major General Nicholas Carter, who was commander of allied forces in southern Afghanistan during Pun's deployment, praised his efforts: "The CGC does not get handed out lightly. It was a most remarkable achievement." Indeed, his act was nothing short of remarkable.
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