Larson told Bundermann that they needed cover fire before they could make a run for it and try to bring Mace to the Aid Station. Bundermann radioed his counterpart, Lt. Jordan Bellamy, up on Observation Post (OP) Fritsche and asked him to fire mortars into the nearby town where enemy fighters had set up their base.
He also called Spc. Clint Romesha, on the western side of the camp, and Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Hill, who was in charge of the men on the eastern side, and told them to fire into the mountains. Bundermann then radioed Larson.
"If I lay down a f--- ton of cover fire, can you guys get back on your own?"
"F--- yeah," said Larson.
The plan was this: a B-1 bomber would drop its explosives while OP Fritsche, Romesha and his men, and Hill and his men unleashed everything they had at every enemy position they could target --- at which point Larson and Carter would grab Mace and sprint to the aid station. Everyone got ready.
Carter scurried out to prepare the stretcher and clear the area, but within seconds, a mortar from OP Fritsche had hit Urmul, and Larson was yelling, "Go! Go! Go!" Prep work now short-circuited, Carter kicked the ammo cans out of the way and snatched up the stretcher. He opened the back door of the Humvee, where Mace was trying to ease himself out.
"Mace, you need to shift your legs," Larson said.
"You need to hold the f--- on, because we're going to haul ass," added Carter.
The aggressive fire echoed the morning's earlier sound track, but this time, the bullets and mortars were outgoing, as the men of 3-61 Cav, together and all at once, began giving the enemy everything they had. Mace threw himself onto the stretcher, and Carter and Larson started moving, trying to achieve a balance of speed and smoothness.
As they chugged toward the aid station, they passed by the bodies of the two insurgents Larson had killed. Not far from them lay a dead U.S. soldier: Chris Griffin.
Carter had never been so exhausted; he was in so much pain, and so spent, that tears started streaking from his eyes. He was dehydrated and in agony. As soon as they reached the aid station, the docs grabbed Mace and got to work on him. Carter fell on the ground and started crawling.
He had just enough breath to say "Help" --- for himself and for all of them.