Troops Give Thanks for Surviving IED Blast

Happy Thanksgiving from Afghanistan

Stars and Stripes|by Martin Kuz

GOSHTA, Afghanistan — Pfc. Derick Vinton was looking forward to lunch as he drove an armored vehicle back to his platoon’s base last month near this village five miles from Pakistan.

That’s when the earth snarled and ripped open.

An 80-pound IED buried in the dirt road detonated beneath the truck’s passenger side. The front wheels heaved upward several feet before landing with a violent stomp. Dust swallowed the cab as the air inside went black.

Vinton, 19, of Riverton, Wyo., heard only silence on his radio headset. A long moment passed. Then yelling erupted. The other three men in the truck were alive.

The four Soldiers climbed out of the crippled vehicle. One had suffered a concussion; two had minor leg injuries. Vinton was unhurt.

So it is on this Thanksgiving that he offers gratitude for something that might sound strange to civilians in America but makes perfect sense to troops serving in Afghanistan and the longest war in U.S. history. CONTINUE READING