It could have been a fatal shot to the head, but a piece of equipment is credited with saving an Iowa National Guard soldier’s life.
“You hear stories about what’s gone wrong, but you never hear stories about what’s gone right,” Army Sergeant Blake Coughlin said.
Army Specialist Tom Albers of Alton was in Afghanistan in 2011. As part of his mission, he patrolled hostile areas and helped Afghan military police.
While on the job, ranking officers told the soldiers there were Taliban fighters nearby.
“I was walking up this hill, and when I crested this hill, I saw a building on my right, so I was gonna tell my guy 25 meters to the left of me that I had a building over here and in the middle of telling him that I heard a shot and felt something hit me in the side of the head,” said Spc. Albers.
The shot was fired by an AK-47 just 100 feet away.
Albers was knocked to the ground, but was able to get up and help his unit fight off insurgents.
Officials held a special ceremony to return Albers’ helmet. He was also given the Purple Heart.