“We got out of the FOB, to do a patrol in Sangin. Long story short, I wanted to get a cigarette light up. that day I was running out, I asked someone for one and he gave me a broken cigarette and it wasn’t my brand. I lifted my head up to light my cigarette and suddenly I saw a big black thing rotating up into the air which was thrown from the other side of a wall we were walking next to.

In that short time from when I lit my cigarette till I saw that explosive device took me 2 seconds, so I was in the middle of line (patrolling formation) because after me at the end of line was the beginning of the ANCOP.

In that short circumstance I saw it (the IED) and started running with the fullest energy I ever had! Just imagine, that run had to be like a marathon runner to get off the arena and I did it! Disappeared like an invisible man who had never actually been at the line! I had run a couple of steps and the IED hit the ground and it sounded like a bottle of metal glass hitting the ground and then it exploded and I felt like a car hit my glove covered hands, and I was still running.

A deep massive mixture of dirt surrounded the area and I don’t know how long I was running till I stopped and sat down on the ground. Realizing that there are others, then I heard voice of my team mate (W), ‘Hey Nick! F**king Nick!’

I came to the conclusion to stand up and shout out, ‘Hey W, I’m alright!’”
-“Nick” (Redacted) Local National Linguist. Attached to 3/7 Lima Company. Sangin, Helmand, Afghanistan.
This interview was conducted by Battles and Beers (TM) The name of the interpreter who submitted this story has been changed to protect his identity. As we always say here at Battles and Beers: Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.