Malcolm said Lowry’s sense of humor never stopped, even under enemy fire. He remembered rounds impacting within feet of Lowry while at Observation Post Shrine, one of the most northern and contested posts in Kajaki district. Both of them made light of an incident where they were almost struck by enemy rounds before Lowry turned to the direction of the fire and shot back with his M39 rifle, a modified version of the M14.
“Bullets didn’t really phase him,” explained Malcolm. “He just wanted to find where the rounds were coming from and hit them back. He wouldn’t miss.”
In January 2012, Malcolm and Lowry patrolled through Kajaki when his squad received enemy fire from a compound 1200 meters away. Insurgents were firing from a protected firing position cut out of a wall. After firing one round to see where his rounds would land, Lowry adjusted his aim and fired the remaining 19 rounds into the small, two foot square, neutralizing the insurgents.
Malcolm said his fondest memory of Lowry was at OP Shrine with machine gun fire coming at them. The feeling and honor of being in combat with his best friend is something he will remember for life.
“He was a warrior, he just really controlled the battlefield that day at [Observation Post] Shrine,” said Malcolm. “I’m just privileged to have fought alongside him. It’s one of the best memories I have. I want people to remember that Lowry wanted to be out here. We’re proud to fight over here.”
Editor’s Note: The 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines are a part of Task Force Leatherneck. First Marine Division (Forward) heads Task Force Leatherneck, the ground combat element of Regional Command (Southwest), and works in partnership with the Afghan National Security Force and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to conduct counterinsurgency operations. The unit is dedicated to securing the Afghan people, defeating insurgent forces, and enabling ANSF assumption of security responsibilities within its area of operations in order to support the expansion of stability, development and legitimate governance.