Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Thanks to his Kevlar helmet -- USMC photo by Sgt. J. W. Alexander
The sniper had shot Snipes square in the side of his head, hitting him directly in his Kevlar helmet.
"I was in shock, I didn't know what happened. I remember thinking ‘Am I still here?'" he said.
Snipes dropped down in the turret. It was at that point he realized he was, in fact, still with the living thanks to his helmet. While inside the cab of the Humvee, another shot
tore through one of the handgrips of his .50-caliber machine gun, partially shattering it. The sniper then began focusing on the vehicles tires.
After a moment, Snipes said he composed himself and raised his 5-foot-11-inch frame back up into the turret to engage the sniper with his machine gun.
The platoon's organic firepower and a 500-pound bomb from overhead air support eventually silenced the sniper, noted 1st Lt. Jeremy S. Wilkinson, platoon commander, 3rd Mobile Assault Platoon.
Snipes' life, though, was saved by his gear.
"I was really surprised," he said. "It's supposed to be able to stop a 7.62mm round at long distances. Well, it did," he said. "The gear works, don't doubt it. This is proof."