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This is the Ranger Creed:
Recognizing that I volunteered as a Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession, I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor, and high esprit de corps of the Rangers.Anyone wanting to join that team will have to overcome some obstacles, and prove themselves worthy. In some ways SPC Peter Sprenger had more hurdles to clear than most:
Acknowledging the fact that a Ranger is a more elite soldier who arrives at the cutting edge of battle by land, sea, or air, I accept the fact that as a Ranger my country expects me to move further, faster, and fight harder than any other soldier.
Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong, and morally straight and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be, one hundred percent and then some.
Gallantly will I show the world that I am a specially selected and well trained soldier. My courtesy to superior officers, neatness of dress, and care of equipment shall set the example for others to follow.
Energetically will I meet the enemies of my country. I shall defeat them on the field of battle for I am better trained and will fight with all my might. Surrender is not a Ranger word. I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass my country.
Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission, though I be the lone survivor.
For Spc. Peter Sprenger, an Infantryman, Dec. 9, 2003, is a day that will stay with him forever.Sprenger graduated from Ranger Training on July 29th, 2005.
Sprenger, who's assigned to the 101st Airborne Division's 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, was on an early morning patrol in Talafar, Iraq, when a car bomb exploded near the command post. No Soldiers died in the attack, but Sprenger was one of 60 casualties.
"My right eye was just mutilated, and I had shrapnel wounds to my mouth, back, legs and shoulder," he said. "It kind of messed up my day."
Sprenger was evacuated to Landstul Regional Medical Center in Germany and then to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where President George W. Bush presented Sprenger a Purple Heart.
Sprenger spent nearly eight months undergoing numerous surgeries and rehabilitation. He's legally blind in his right eye, still has shrapnel in his shoulder, the small of his back and his right leg. "I shoot with my left eye, anyway," he said.
Sprenger, who could have been medically retired, chose to get back to his unit and complete his mission.
"I came into the Army to be a Soldier and fight for my country," he said. "I was not going to let this incident deter me."
When Spc. Peter Sprenger recited the words of the Ranger Creed during Friday's graduation ceremony, brigade leaders figured no one more deserved the honor.The story originally appeared in Ft Benning's newspaper - we found it through fellow MilBlogger Jack Army. Go read all about this hero.
The credo, which ends with a pledge to "display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on" seems tailor-made for Sprenger - who earned the right to be called a Ranger after losing an eye in Iraq.
Even with two good eyes, soldiers find it to be among the U.S. military's toughest training. On average, 52 percent of the troops who take the 61-day course end up graduating.
"Sprenger is unbelievable," Chinn said. "He's a great example and inspiration to all soldiers and Rangers."
Sprenger said he got a lot of support from his father, John, and countless officers and fellow soldiers in the Army.
Depth perception was the only trouble his one-eyed sight gave him during Ranger training, he said, especially during the 20-foot-high catwalk.
Although he can't play pickup basketball and football anymore, he still enjoys racquetball and still legally drives.
Now, Sprenger is looking forward to rejoining his unit and deploying back to Iraq in September.
"I want to finish the job I started," he said.