Kargil: “An opportunity to fight only comes to the most fortunate soldiers. Either you can be brave and be remembered forever, or you do not fulfill your duty and be branded a coward for life.” – Col (now Brig) Umesh Singh Bawa VrC, Commanding Officer 17 JAT told Capt. Anuj Nayyar, MVC during the Kargil War.
“But after the war, when I saw the coffins of my dead boys, met those in hospitals – maimed and disabled, saw the grief of parents and young widows, I was full of sadness. I never want to see another war in my life. War only brings misery. They don’t solve any problems.”
Brig Umesh Singh Bawa was awarded the Vir Chakra for his inspired leadership in capturing Pimple complex, part of Point 4875, a near impossible military victory against heavy odd on July 4, 1999. He led multiple attacks during Kargil War to capture Pimple One, Pimple Two and Whale-Back.
A few days later, Capt. Anuj gave his engagement ring and wallet (with a picture of his childhood sweetheart and fiancee, Timmy) to (then) Col Bawa, saying, “Sir I don’t want the enemy to get his dirty hands on them. Please return to my fiancee if I do not return”. Engaged for over a year when the war began, the two were planning to get married in September that year. However, Capt. Anuj Nayyar was killed in action on July 7, 1999.
17 JAT received 41 Gallantry awards but lost 36 men (highest loss for a unit in that war)
Lt Anuj was being pipped and promoted as a Captain on the battlefield.