Kephart, 21, of the 230th Military Police Company, was a gunner in a three-vehicle patrol in north Baghdad when the squad ran into a hellish hail of weapons fire.
The unit had been in Baghdad less than a month and was on its way to help soldiers whose Humvee had a flat tire.
Suddenly, what seemed like hundreds of enemies besieged the squad with rocket-propelled grenades, small-arms fire and roadside-bomb traps.
When the attack started, Spc Kephart, a quiet man from Oil City, Pa., unleashed a cacophonous response with his .50-caliber weapon, spraying cover fire as the squad made its way down a “four-kilometer kill zone.
The nine other members of his 2nd Squad, 4th Platoon “Hell Raisers” in the Humvees behind and in front of him did the same, trying to stave off death.
Even after a round exploded in Kephart’s .50-caliber gun, he didn’t flinch. His driver and team leader, handed her M249 machine gun to him and Kephart unloaded the rounds until he had no more. Then he grabbed an M-4 assault rifle and continued defending the squad.
The squad kept moving, and the other drivers maneuvering evasively. They had to turn around and head back through the kill zone when they discovered roadside bombs blocking their path.
Saturday, 24 September 2016
Staging: 9:00 AM
590 Alleghany Blvd. Franklin, Pa.
Briefing: 9:15 AM
KSU: 9:30 AM
Flag Line: 9:45 AM
Flag Line set on the Bridge.
Watch The Weather and Dress Accordingly. Please Bring Your 3×5 Flags. HYDRATE