Timothy La Sage Marine Corps Scout Sniper:
At 0930 hours on July 20th, 2019, the third day of festivities began in the Michigan room of the Marriot West in Middleton, WI for the American Legion Department of Wisconsin 101st Convention. Timothy La Sage was introduced by Commander Frank Kotska and was instantly engaged with his audience. La Sage took a tactical approach to his introduction by hiding. We heard him speak, but did not know where he was, who was whispering, “sometimes a person in the battlefield is someone you are looking for…I could be 1,000 yards behind you, searching somewhere, for a high value target in your group. I could be watching for days, waiting to see who comes off the battlefield today.”
La Sage’s story was capivating capturing the intense lens of what life as a Scout Sniper is like who said, “there is never a break, never a day off. There is no pool in Baghdad.”
La Sage went onto describe what Marine Sniper living conditions were like by using the American Legion convention stage table as an example. During down time, La Sage stated he stayed in a space filled with eighteen snipers, with all of their gear, in bunk beds, all packed together.
Timothy La Sage, a Wisconsin native, works for WPS Solutions who is a Military Affairs Manager. He served with Seal Team Five with the FAST Company (Fleet Anti-terroism Security Teams.) La Sage’s famous shot was taken from 680 yards, standing, with a moving vehicle as his target, which prematurely detonated an IED. La Sage noted the terrorist lead vehicle had crashed into the explosion, allowing the approaching friendly convoy to escape. La Sage’s long-range shot saved the mission by taking out an invisible threat allowing for the oncoming Brigade Commander to make it through what he called the “kill zone.” After meeting with the Brigadier General, he asked La Sage if he wanted a coin who narrated his experience by saying, “all he wanted to do was give us a coin.”
La Sage also spoke of a situation where one of his comrades experienced a grazing fire bullet from a terrorist sniper close to 300 yards away. I know exactly what this feels like being on night guard in Port au Prince with 10th MP. We experienced grazing fire from combatants in Operation Uphold Democracy. As La Sage continued to share this individual’s story I began recalling how helpless I felt being ordered to “hold fire” due to rules of engagement. There is a psychological aspect to grazing fire you never forget. All it takes is for a recalling of an event to take you back. La Sage’s comrade is lucky to be alive. As an advocate for those who spent time in our nation’s outposts, I strongly urge all who suffer through this experience to reach out to PTSD Coach app and decide for yourself where you are at when dealing with the aftershock of war.
Thank you for your service Timothy La Sage and appreciate your dedication to sharing your unique perspective with America. We need more to share their documentary of their service to better understand why we seek to protect our borders with our military.
Bradley J. Burt
American Legion Post 501 of Madison, WI
Service Officer/Wisconsin American Legion Press Association Board Member