By Georges Aboumrad3rd BCT, 82nd Abn. Div., MND-B PAOMarch 3, 2009
After being wounded in combat, Sgt. Roy Mitchell was given the option to be honorably discharged from the Army.
Feeling he was abandoning his brothers-in-arms, Mitchell recovered from his injuries and returned to his unit to deploy for a second time in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Mitchell is a sniper assigned to Troop C, 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Multi-National Division - Baghdad. A native of Garden Grove, Calif., he has been in the U.S. Army for five years and is serving on his second deployment to Iraq.
As the team leader assigned to a sniper platoon, Mitchell mentors his junior paratroopers on the fundamentals of being a sniper and takes great pride in teaching his subordinates. He said he loves to see how they develop into qualified snipers and professional leaders.
While conducting combat operations in Baquba, Iraq on March 24, 2007, Mitchell was shot twice by enemy combatants. A large scar on the right side of his head is a reminder of how fortunate he is to still be alive. Despite his injuries, Mitchell was determined to return to duty. "I was hospitalized for six months, and it took me another six months to recover from all my injuries," said Mitchell. "I was given the option to leave the Army, but I was not ready to leave yet. I would have felt beaten by the enemy if I left the Army and I was not ready to leave all my friends. They are like my Family and I owe my life to them."
Recently, Mitchell was recommended to the rank of staff sergeant at a promotion board held in Iraq. He hopes to continue to grow in the Army and plans to pursue a career in either a Ranger battalion or a Special Forces group upon the completion of his tour in Iraq. Mitchell also hopes to purse a college degree.
During his spare time in Iraq, Mitchell enjoys watching movies, reading books and hanging out with his fellow paratroopers.