Corporal Shailabh Gaur, a member of the Indian Air Force’s elite commando unit called “Garud,” doesn’t just enjoy watching movies like crazy military action flicks like Rambo, he lives them in real life. Last month, Gaur suffered significant injuries during a battle with terrorists, but never gave up and helped defeat the enemy.
On January 2, a group of heavily armed terrorists invaded the Pathankot Air Force Base and engaged the military in a fierce gun battle that lasted 17 hours.
Corporal Shailabh Gaur was patrolling the air base. “It was around 3.30 am when we were asked to look around the vehicle maintenance area and clear the area,” he says. “We spotted a trail which led us inside the area, terrorists hiding there began firing as the platoon took positions.”
The terrorists were firing Kalashnikovs and throwing grenades at the soldiers. “They used lob grenades while reloading. Mortars were also fired at us,” he says “Thankfully, they didn’t explode.” Meanwhile the commandos were not permitted to use heavy weapons so that they did not inflict collateral damage, especially on the fighter jets and radars that were in the vicinity.
During the skirmish, Corporal Gursewak Singh, who was fighting alongside Gaur, was shot and killed. “Gursewak was a close friend, we had joined the Air Force together and we were buddies,” he says. Gaur also took fire and was shot in the abdomen four times. And just like the invincible heroes in the movies, Gaur kept on fighting the jihadists for approximately an hour and a half despite being severely wounded and having blood gush out of his body. Finally, the terrorists went to a different location and Gaur was able to tend to his life-threatening injuries.
Gaur, who has three generations of the family in the defense forces, was rushed to the Pathankot military hospital where four bullets and splinter pieces were removed from his body. Doctors were quite surprised that he had survived all because he lost a nearly deadly amount of blood. Seven Indian military personnel died from the attempted siege.
Only six weeks after his harrowing encounter, Gaur has almost fully recovered and is excited to get back to serving his country hopefully next week. Corporal Gaur says Hollywood movies like Commando and Rambo inspired him to join the military.
Corporal Gaur, continue being a hero in real life.