Tough as Nails

This is unbelievable:

The first time Lance Cpl. Tony Stevens was bombed in Iraq, a car packed with 155 mm shells exploded next to his Humvee just as a device containing five more shells detonated beneath it.

By bomb No. 9, the former baseball minor league shortstop had become a good luck-bad luck icon and the awe of his 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment patrolling the so-called “triangle of death” south of Baghdad.

With a couple of weeks remaining in his second tour of duty in Iraq, the 26-year-old might be counting the days a little more closely than most and has become a seasoned, battle-hardened veteran of the laws of physics.

“When you hear the explosion, that’s actually good,” Stevens said, pointing out that because sound travels relatively slowly, hearing the blast means you have survived it. “It means you’re still in the game.”

As an Army guy, I have to tell you- Marines are something else. They are just cut from a different cloth. I used to joke there was nothing I wanted more than a platoon of Marines ahead of me and nothine I feared more than a platoon of Marines around my sister.

2 replies
  1. 1

    They must teach them different physics in the Marines than they taught me at MIT. A blast is a shock wave, and it travels at the speed of sound. You can’t push it any faster. A detonation front in a high explosive travels much faster, but that’s not the same thing. As for how fast anything travels around your sister (or for that matter mine), I wouldn’t care to argue.

  2. 2
    JPS says:

    Big dirigible:

    That’s his point, isn’t it?–the sound of the blast is preceded, within a certain range, by the physical travel of lethal shrapnel, propelled by that much faster detonation front and not yet slowed down by air resistance.

    Not sure, but I detect gratuitous snottiness.

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