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Soldier takes RPG to helmet, and lives...

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Drizzt, Apr 27, 2003.

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  1. Drizzt

    Drizzt Well-Known Member

    'It's The Best Day Of My Life, Having Him Home'

    April 26, 2003

    By Theron Zahn

    SEA-TAC AIRPORT - 20-year-old Marine Lance Corporal Ryan Harnish came as close to death as you can get. That is why the reunion with his family and friends at Sea-Tac Airport Friday night was so emotional.

    Harnish was one of the first Marines into Baghdad. While under enemy fire, he was hit in the head by a rocket propelled grenade.

    "It hit me square on," said Harnish.

    The grenade didn't explode, but left a hole in his kevlar helmet.

    Harnish was knocked out for several minutes, but amazingly as soon as he came to, he grabbed his rifle and continued firing.

    "It made me mad, I got mad." said Harnish.

    He then fought for several more hours before he could get the medical attention he needed.

    "He actually, he called me while he was on the stretcher," said girlfriend Jessica Drake. "I don't know how he ended up calling me, but I couldn't hear him. All I could hear was a bunch of yelling in the background,"

    "I have a headache mostly, I've lost some hearing in my left ear," said Harnish.

    The good news is he should recover.

    To Harnish's family from Federal Way, he is a hero, and they are so thankful for another touch and hug, knowing they came very close to never enjoying these simple things again.

    "There is a lot things he talked about that a lot of moms don't want to hear until their sons get back," said his mother Debbie Adams.

    "It's the best day of my life, having him home," said stepfather Rob Adams. "Very proud of him, extremely proud."

  2. Waitone

    Waitone Well-Known Member

    Kevlar--Good stuff

    That hadda hurt!

    Did his ears ring?

    Please tell me he was able to keep his kevlar.
  3. rick458

    rick458 Well-Known Member

    seems like they had more RPGs than bullets on the other side
    I hope Our guys played a lot of Duke Nukem and Quake to get ready for it.;)

    COHIBA member

  5. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

    Wonderful outcome, but I'm skeptical about the weapon being an RPG. They're about 70-80mm in diameter, so if a dud fuzed one hit you square on, there would me more damage than a hole in your helmet. Not saying it wasn't an RPG -- just saying I'm skeptical.
  6. coonan357

    coonan357 Well-Known Member

    someone please pass the anacin I have a whopper of a headache .. :D somebody had a higher power watching out for him .
  7. Feanaro

    Feanaro Well-Known Member

    If that's true then he's pretty darn lucky. If it's like the British soldier and this helmet... :D
  8. Ol' Badger

    Ol' Badger Well-Known Member

    Can you say BS? I'm from Missouri and you have to show me!
    But if it is total true, then I say that fellow can pick me Lotto numbers from now on!
  9. Delmar

    Delmar Well-Known Member

    Now-THATS what I call a jar head!
  10. freeride21a

    freeride21a Active Member

    Does that mean that if you jump and simultaineously shoot your rocket into the ground below you, you can launch yourself up onto that 30 foot roof in front of you? :D
  11. Azrael256

    Azrael256 Well-Known Member

    Yes, it does! The problem is that you'll be a pile of chunky salsa when you land.
  12. CWL

    CWL Well-Known Member

    An unexploded RPG wouldn't hurt his kevlar-protected head as much as it would break his neck. The "r" in RPG stands for rocket.

    I don't believe this since I've seen RPGs in action.

    If anyone recalls, the experience in Mogadishu when a unexploded RPG punched a hole thru a 2-ton truck door and buried itself into the torso of a USGI.

    Also, in case anybody didn't see the follow-up, that British soldier with the shot-up but intact helmet has since admitted that it was a hoax. His helmet was on the ground and accidentally shot by a squadmate. A guillible photographer believed the story.

    (edited to add Mogadishu example.)
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2003
  13. Faceplant

    Faceplant New Member

    Harnish is a good friend of mine

    And I can assure you that he did indeed get hit with an RPG. If you are skeptical read the article about the 1/5 Marines trek through Iraq in the Orange County Register.
  14. strambo

    strambo Well-Known Member

    Um, a helmet is curved, the front of an RPG is curved...can you say ricochet? It didn't hit square obviously. Helmets are made to deflect suff.
  15. Doug b

    Doug b Well-Known Member

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm rpg to the head and survived quick enough to return to the fight.I'm calling BS here.
  16. knuckles

    knuckles Well-Known Member

    Yawn, why'd ya wake this one up? It was 3 1/2 years old. Let it go back to sleep....
  17. El Tejon

    El Tejon Well-Known Member

    Doug, if Chinee manufacture, then not uncommon. As well, the young marine could have been inside the arming zone of the weapon (approximately 12 yards, IIRC) when he was hit (happens in urban scraps).
  18. XDKingslayer

    XDKingslayer member

    Be skeptical all you want, but he's the second documented Jarhead to take a dud RPG to the grape.

    On the History channel they showed the march from Kuwait to Bagdad and they were interviewing a few Marines that were in the back of an Amtrak. He said he saw it fired and the next thing he knew he was on his back on the floor of the Amtrak. Once he realized he wasn't dead, he said the first thing that went through his mind was "How dare they shoot at me.". He got up and started firing back.
  19. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

    I think you are all picturing a square on hit, which would be the most unlikely occurrance, as the elmet is nearly a shper, and the rocket is a cone, at leat of the front. It wouldn't take much of a glancing hit to knock someone out cold.
  20. quatin

    quatin Well-Known Member

    Perhaps the "square on" part was a tad exaggerated. Maybe it just glanced off his helmet.
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