COMBAT OUTPOST CASTLE, Helmand province, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan – Willy Pete and Marines with Company D, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division (Forward), rest before going out on a recent patrol. Willy has gone on more than 30 combat patrols in the last 60 days.
american GI engenuity at its best, we trump anyone on any battlefield anywhere at any time through history when it comes to the ingenious nature of our soldiers on the line.
Staff Sgt. Christopher Fessenden is on duty in Afghanistan now after tours with the Army in Iraq. He has traveled with standard-issue equipment — weapons, helmet, uniform, boots and so forth — plus a radio-controlled model truck his brother sent.The truck is not a toy to him. He says it just saved six soldiers’ lives.
“We cannot thank you enough,” said Sgt. Fessenden in an email from the front that his brother Ernie, a software engineer in Rochester, Minn., shared with ABC News.
The little truck was used by the troops to run ahead of them on patrols and look for roadside bombs. Fessenden has had it since 2007, when Ernie and Kevin Guy, the owner of the Everything Hobby shop in Rochester, rigged it with a wireless video camera and shipped it to him.
Last week, it paid off. Chris Fessenden said he had loaned the truck to a group of fellow soldiers, who used it to check the road ahead of them on a patrol. It got tangled in a trip wire connected to what Fessenden guesses could have been 500 lbs. of explosives. The bomb went off. The six soldiers controlling the truck from their Humvee were unhurt.
“Monday morning, Ernie comes running into my store and says, ‘You’re not gonna believe this,'” said Guy, recounting the story in a telephone interview[…]
They had already been trying to send Chris a new truck; the Stampede was wearing out. Kevin said he will donate one through a nonprofit group he helped organize, Fuel My Brain. They had tried to raise some money over the weekend at a county fair near Rochester, but had come away with all of six dollars. That was before they had a story to tell about the six soldiers.
“That’s just unreal,” said Kevin. “That’s six mothers that six guys are going home to.” [More]
I certainly hope at another fundraiser they come away with a lot more than six bucks. Better yet, contract with the military.