Friday, October 16, 2009
Soldier survives head shot
A British soldier in Afghanistan has been shot in the head by a Taliban fighter and escaped with nothing more than whiplash. It was a lucky shot but the force of the bullet sent Lance Corporal Iain Maynard flying two metres before he hit the ground
When fellow soldiers came to help expecting the worst, they were amazed to see the deadly tip of the bullet sticking through the inside of his army issue helmet.
This incredible incident happened while Iain and the rest of the fire support group were on a routine patrol, sweeping the area for IEDs, on Tuesday 13 October.
Lance Corporal Maynard of 2 Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards said:
‘Literally out of nowhere I got shot in the helmet. I wasn’t knocked out by the initial force of it but it knocked me straight onto my back.
‘I knew I had been shot in the head but that was about it.
‘It hit me about 2cm above my left eye, so I’m pretty lucky really. It only just penetrated the helmet so I have a very small cut on my forehead.
‘I was completely disorientated on the floor. I took my helmet off and looked at it and thought ‘that was close’. I tried to stand up but couldn’t so I was taken out of there.’
For Lance Corporal Maynard this is his second tour of Afghanistan. The 24 year old, who comes from Lincoln, even celebrated his 22nd birthday while fighting here in 2007.
The incident happened when number 5 Platoon and the fire support group moved out of Patrol Base Wahid on a routine patrol, in Nad Ali District, Helmand. They had been patrolling for nearly two hours when they came under insurgent fire.
Lance Corporal Maynard was part the fire support group and took on the insurgents with enough fire power to support the rest of the patrol. But, in the midst of the contact the bullet hit him.
He was immediately given assistance by Sergeant Claxton and Guardsman Jolley and was soon heading back to Camp Bastion on a helicopter for treatment.
Guardsman Jolley said: “We have trained extensively to provide on-site medical provision for troops on the field of battle. Thankfully the helmet did exactly what it was designed to do. When the news reached the hospital back at Camp Bastion a full trauma team was ready for the worst.
Major Chris Wright, a doctor from the RAMC was the first to see him said; ‘We were ready with the full trauma team stood to. But when he came in we could see he was talking and he was calm. There was no sign of any head injury.
‘We did a double take and had to check he was the right patient. This is one very lucky man. A few millimetres lower and it would have been a very different outcome.
Major Richard Green the Company Commander said: ‘We are looking forward to the return of Lance Corporal Maynard soon with a new helmet.