[Daniel] Rodriguez served in Iraq during the troop surge of 2007. On his second tour, he found himself in Afghanistan and in the line of fire during one of the war’s bloodiest fights, the battle of Kamdesh in October 2009.
Rodriguez said close to 400 Taliban combatants overwhelmed the U.S. outpost of fewer than 40 soldiers. Eight Americans were killed, including Rodriguez’s friend, Pfc. Kevin Thompson.
Just a few days earlier, the two young men shared their dreams of what they’d do after returning home. Thompson made Rodriguez promise to chase his goal of playing college football.