Milwaukee Navy Seal shot by ISIS while saving Iraqi civilians

Posted at 10:41 PM, Jul 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-06 02:15:52-04

A former Navy Seal from Milwaukee was shot by ISIS while he was trying to save the lives of Iraqi civilians. 

Twenty-five-year-old Ephraim Mattos was a Seal for six years. He got out in April to volunteer with a humanitarian group, and that's what took him to Iraq.

"It was like a World War II movie where a bunch of tanks we're online and you were assaulting into a town taking heavy fire," Mattos said.

In May, Mattos went to Mosul to volunteer as a medic.

"It was basically this big bloody battle where ISIS was trying to push the Iraqi forces out," Mattos said.

Mattos' job was to treat wounded civilians.

"We saw a group of about a dozen bodies just piled up."

At the bottom of the pile his team saw movement.

"We started looking and we started seeing like little kids still alive in the bodies," Mattos said.

The team saved a little girl, among others, while ISIS was watching.

"There were about probably a dozen to 20 ISIS guys that could see us. So they were shooting at us the entire time."

Mattos was shot in the calf.

"I felt like someone had taken a sledgehammer and basically had knocked my legs out from underneath me and it burned," he said.

He was forced to get up so he wasn't crushed by a tank.

"It's your job to fix yourself until the battle's won."

He hopes his story helps others understand the reality.

"The suffering over there is obviously incredibly immense and I don't want people to know what that's like, but I want them to know that it's going on," Mattos said.

Click here to learn more about helping Iraqi civilians.