Blaine Sullivan was born and raised in Las Vegas NV. Soon after he graduated high school, he enlisted in the Army and deployed to Afghanistan the following year. Sullivan and his fellow Alpha Company 3rd Platoon soldiers, members of the 2/503rd 101st Airborne Division were dropped by helicopter into the Sangsar area to hit the Taliban where it lives. The rural farming village had been transformed into a bomb factory. Alpha Company already had uncovered an IED factory and helped destroy a major explosives cache big enough to produce hundreds of roadside bombs.
On November 22, 2010 the fighting grew meaner by the minute as Alpha Company approached Sangsar. The paths and neighborhoods were littered with IED’s. A wounded ANA soldier, one of a group that worked in tandem with U.S. troops, had stepped on an antipersonnel mine and had lost his legs. The Americans would do their best to save their Afghan ally. His platoon already had tangled with plenty of antipersonnel mines and improvised explosive devices. Twice vehicles in which Sullivan had been riding were blown up by IED’s. They loaded the soldier onto a stretcher and while carrying him to the helicopter landing zone an IED went off. The injured soldier, Blaine’s Squad Leader and another comrade did not survive the blast. Sullivan’s right leg was so damaged it had to be amputated above the knee. He suffered severe shrapnel and blast wounds. In minutes he was medevaced from Sangsar to Kandahar Airfield, then flown to Bagram Airfield for more emergency medical treatment before being transported to Germany. After he was stabilized he was flown to Walter Reed Medical Center to continue he’s long road to recovery. He finished his rehabilitation at Naval Medical Center San Diego and was medically retired in January 2012.
Blaine was awarded a Purple Heart and in 2013, his unit, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team 101st Airborne Div. received the Presidential Unit Citation Award. The award was earned by the Brigade’s performance in the Taliban heartland of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom 10-11. The area was considered a “no-go” zone for coalition troops until 2nd BCT retook control in a determined campaign that was among the most difficult and bloody for the 101st Airborne in the post 9/11 era.
Blaine resides in Las Vegas, NV with his wife and their 8 month old son. He now enjoys spending his time with them, producing music, and getting involved with local events that support military families.