Highland Mid-Kids Radio Club Highland Heroes Series – Major Christopher Scott – Part 2

This is Part Two of the Highland Mid-Kids Radio Club’s interview with United States Army Defense Attaché Major Christopher Scott as part of their Highland Heroes series.

“Where is your favorite place you’ve been stationed and why?”

“That’s a hard one. I think almost each place has something really good about it. Like Fort Lewis was awesome, in Washington state, that was great for outdoor stuff – downside is it rained all the time. And I was deployed most of the time, so I think Juliet and my wife Elaine got to spend the nice months there.”

“Being stationed in DC is interesting. Like, I like it to a point I was able to come down here and spend time, it’s good for family. I’ve got family in New Jersey family in Virginia, so it’s easy to split in between.”

“Mongolia was a great experience and would have been pretty cool if it wasn’t for COVID. COVID shut down the country, so we missed out on doing a lot of stuff. But I mean, we got to go dog sledding on a frozen river, camping with, like, wild horses, touring the country, like that was pretty cool.”

“I will say probably the coolest place I was deployed was Ukraine. Because Kyiv was a beautiful city, it was awesome. It was that, like, still kind of post-Soviet at the time. It was right after the initial Russia invasion, so there was a lot of cool stuff going on – it was kind of like the Wild West.”

“Do you have any interesting stories you would like to share?”

“By request, yeah, I was a company commander in Afghanistan, this is May of 2012. It was our first major combat operation as a company, and I was leading a patrol. We found and cleared a bunch of IEDs, which are improvised explosive devices, basically homemade mines, booby traps. So we’re trying to clear this area in this village, so we can actually get more forces in and keep going on to a different objective.”

“And we found one, I’ve got the explosive ordnance guys with me. So I came up saw it, was like, ‘Alright, yeah, it’s there. I’ll go get the EOD guys.’ Went, grab them, was like ‘I get got another IED up front, I’ll show you where it is.’ Turned around, the guy’s like ‘No, no, hold on. I’ll go first.’ And he starts walking in front of me, he’s got a mine detector. So there’s two guys in front of me walking. I’m walking behind him, we’re all following the same line. And I guess they just – everyone missed another IED that was in the road. And I found it with my foot. Which is not the preferred technique.”

“But luckily they had some rain maybe like, rain a couple of days before, so it got wet. So it didn’t actually explode all the way – it only partly exploded, something we call “low order” doesn’t “high order,” which is when it goes like full “kabloom.”

“But yeah, it was enough to like, blow my foot up, give me like a real bad hot foot. There’s dust and smoke everywhere, I couldn’t hear anything, I just stood there with my leg in the air, and was like “Okay.” I knew what happened. And then you immediately do the – start checking yourself – ‘Okay, everything’s good.’ Look down –  ‘Wow, my foot’s still attached.’ Like that’s surprising. Buncha guys were stacked up, like right next to each other, so it was really fortunate that nothing really bad happened. I know the EOD guy turned around he’s like “Sir, whatever happens you need to go tonight and buy a lottery ticket, because you’re the luckiest man on this battlefield.”

Long story short with that was, I ended up finishing the patrol, we were out for another like three or four days. You know, my ankle was like swollen up like football, real painful to walk on, but kept walking on it for about two or three days. Get back, my battalion commander finds out about that. He was not too happy, orders me to go to Kandahar. So I had to fly to Kandahar, get x-rayed and checked out. And they’re like ‘Yeah, you probably broke your ankle. You’ll be fine, here’s a bunch of like, pain meds, and go back to your base.”

“So – good time.”

“Do you have any advice or words of wisdom?”

“You know, I’ve been asked this a lot in my career, like talking to like young officers, young soldiers, different people. And I’ll say, do what you want to do. Like, set yourself goals and then do everything you can to like, meet those goals. Don’t go through life trying to waste your time – like set a goal, try and accomplish it. Hard work always helps. But don’t limit yourself to one thing. Try and like, find that thing that you really enjoy doing and just work at it.”

“Thank you for your service and for speaking with us today. Major Scott. This is the Highland Mid-Kids Radio Club for Allegheny Mountain Radio.”

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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