Wednesday, November 4, 2009
A SQUADDIE picked out by a Taliban sniper in a gun battle pulled out the bullet and carried on fighting.
Heroic Lewis Coulbert did not even realise he had been hit in the intense midnight fire fight.
It was only when he glanced down and saw his arm covered in blood that he realised he could be in trouble.
But he did not want to let his comrades down as they tried to fend off enemy fighters in the lawless area of Nad e-Ali, Helmand.
So the courageous soldier plucked out the AK47 round with his FINGERS, picked up his gun and continued shooting at insurgents.
The modest Guardsman, 22, said: "It felt like being jabbed in the arm really hard.
"But it was not until the end of the contact that I noticed my arm was covered in blood.
"I pulled out the bullet, treated it and carried on."
Lewis, just a month into his first tour of the Afghan badlands, was on a patrol near the Taliban stronghold town when he was shot.
He and his 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards comrades were protecting Royal Engineers building up a vital patrol base.
Crouching in a compound the enemy sniper got a lucky shot as the bullet ricocheted off the walls before entering his upper arm.
The soldier, from Derby, added: "The idea was to move in and create a buffer around where the engineers were working so that anything would have to come through us before it got to them.
"When we got to this compound it was quite exposed.
"Within two minutes of getting into the compound and taking over the roof we started getting incoming and returned fire.
"We were getting automatic and single shot that was pretty accurate, bouncing around the walls and the roof."
The young guardsman added: "Our sniper identified their firing position and we started rattling at it.
"I got down and a round came through the wall and ricocheted into my arm."
Mum Julie Coulbert, 48, and his Royal Marine brother Chay, 21, and two sisters Esme, 25, and Maisie, 14, were proud to hear about his bravery.
Mrs Coulbert said: "I am really proud of both of my boys in the Army.
"But as a mother you also worry that every day they put their lives in danger."