While on sentry duty in Helmand province this past September, Acting Sergeant Dipprasad Pun, a member of the British Gurkha fighting unit in Afghanistan, spotted a group of Taliban fighters heading toward the checkpoint. Without missing a beat, he climbed to the checkpoint’s roof and engaged the enemy alone for at least fifteen minutes.
That may not seem like a long time, but he certainly accomplished a great deal. Sergeant Pun singlehandidly held off 30 attackers (though the figure was revised to about 15 from local observers), firing over 400 rounds of ammunition and using 17 grenades in the process. When his gun failed, he used the tripod to beat off the attackers. When he ran out of ammunition, he used a landmine to thwart the last two attackers.
When describing the assault, Sergeant Pun maintained a sense of humor about his experience. From the Mirror:
His company commander, Major Shaun Chandler, arrived shortly after and slapped the Gurkha on the back – which made him think he may have been under attack again. Asked if he might have accidentally fired on his commander, he smiled and said: “I had no ammunition left.”
Born in Bima, Nepal, Sergeant Pun earned Britain’s second highest military honor for his acts of bravery and utter badassery.