FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — A former 82nd Airborne soldier was savagely beaten in a bar fight this weekend, despite having multiple confirmed kills from his last Afghanistan deployment, sources confirmed today.
According to officials, John Mitchell was not only involved in dozens of gunfights while serving in Afghanistan, but was also credited with getting the first kill in his battalion after emptying an entire 30 round magazine at enemy muzzle flashes more than 200 meters from his position.
“We were really impressed. I mean I’ve never killed anyone,” said Pfc. Mark Thompson, a former member of Mitchell’s fire team. “The guy was clearly a bad ass. And who’s going to question someone like that when he tells you about combat?”
Since the deployment, Mitchell has routinely prefaced advice and opinions to senior officers and NCOs with "as a close combat veteran with several confirmed kills," according to officials.
Unfortunately for Mitchell, that skill set did not protect him Saturday when he took some of his civilian friends drinking at the Thirsty Turtle Pub. According to witnesses, the combat veteran was describing the best way to silently cut an enemy throat when he was interrupted by loud shouting from local plumber Billy Turnbull. Annoyed, Mitchell tried to resume his lesson but was interrupted yet again.
Telling his friends he would “handle this,” Mitchell pushed back his chair and confronted Turnbull.
“It got really ugly," said Levi Anthony, Mitchell’s high school friend. "John had just started explaining to the man that he was a combat veteran and he’d better shut the hell up when this guy hit him in the face with a bottle.”
Despite having a combat infantryman’s badge and a Bronze Star medal for his performance in battle, Mitchell was unable to defend himself against the onslaught, suffering three cracked ribs and a shattered jaw in the ensuing beating.
“I’m pretty sure John was holding back. Why else would a badass like that allow some fat plumber to beat the shit out of him? I bet he just didn’t want to hurt the guy. That’s a real hero right there,” Levi added.
At press time, Mitchell’s jaw was still wired shut and he was unable to comment for this story, but several of his friends have reportedly decided that shooting a farmer wielding an AK-47 while supported by a platoon of infantrymen, close air support, and years of specialized training might not be as impressive as they originally thought.