COMBAT OUTPOST SEMINOLE, Afghanistan - Matiullah Saidshah barely flinched as the corpsman pressed against the red skin searching for tenderness amidst the still fresh wound in the Afghan's back.
HM1 Mark Laforme, an American hospital corpsman, placed new bandages over Matiullah’s thick, black stitches inside COP Seminole.
I had heard that the Taliban stabbed this man - and that he was pissed off. So I asked him to tell me about it in his own words.
The following interview was conducted with the help of an Afghan translator.
Can you tell us about how you were stabbed?
Saidshah: The guys were cleaning the canal. I was a supervisor, walking around. So suddenly one guy came and asked me, “Why you’re working? Don’t work.” He was telling me to stop the working. I’m not gonna stop the working ,and then he stabbed me. I don’t know what happened then. He stabbed me with a knife three times.
Have you seen other brutality by the Taliban?
Saidshah: The others, they either, they give the Taliban money to don’t like do something - or they escape.
What motivates you to keep working?
Saidshah: They don’t care about me. The Taliban don’t care about my day and life. I will start fighting against them. I’m gonna take a weapon. They are my enemy, and I am their enemy.
None of Matiullah Saidshah’s multiple stab wounds hit vital organs and his injuries remain non-life threatening.
He plans to return to work as soon as his wounds heal.
Cali Bagby is embedded with the Marines in Helmand province, Afghanistan, north of the Pakistani border, as multimedia journalists for KVAL News.
Bagby is a freelance multimedia journalist who spent 10 months embedded with the Oregon National Guard in Iraq for KVAL.com.