Lt Col US Gill began his journey in the Indian Army in 1978, when he joined the Officers Training Academy in Chennai. The colonel soon found himself serving in the Rashtriya Rifles, a counter-insurgency force deployed in Kashmir. The third episode of webseries, Undefeated, chronicles his experiences in the Army.
Life changed for Lt Col Gill in 1993, when his convoy struck a landmine, set up by the Hizbul Mujahideen, in Kashmir. Remembering the explosion, he says:
My troops who covered that area said there was definite information about landmines. Because my men had called for me, it was my duty to lead from the front and there I was and we began looking for this explosive device.
He remembers being merely five feet away from the device when it exploded. Today, he wears an eyepatch, or glasses with a frosted lens, to cover his left eye.
Reminiscing about the time he was hospitalised following the blast, Gill says that he wanted to instruct the hospital staff to refrain from informing his family about the incident. He says he wanted to write down the instruction because the blast had rendered him unable to speak. However, before he could send the message, his wife and mother were at the hospital to meet him.
In 1994, one year after the blast, Lt Col Gill was awarded the Sena Medal.
His wife Apekksha, says that his dedication inspires her to be courageous. When asked about the accident, she says:
Yes, it was worth it... I loved the way he plunged himself into action. I am very proud of him.
Lt Col Gill credits the resolve, the love, the dedication, the loyalty of the troops” as helping him get past the injury.
The next episode in the series is scheduled to release on 10 March.