A soldier in basic training is lucky to be alive, thanks to the quick thinking of his instructor.
The Fort Still, Okla., trainee hurled a live hand grenade from a training pit directly into the wall in front of him and froze, falling to the ground, according to army.mil. Fortunately, Staff Sgt. Jon King was next to him and reacted quickly to chuck the explosive outside the wall.
“Once I reached for the grenade, it hit my foot, bounced behind me between my legs,” King told army.mil. “So I went for the grenade and threw it out of the pit as fast as I could.”
The grenade has a six-second fuse, and the soldiers are taught to throw it away within between 3 to 5 seconds. Ironically, the unnamed trainee had successfully hurled two practice grenades before the moment of truth.
“[King] was very heroic and brave. He definitely did the right thing,” said Sgt. First Class Dwayne Kimmel, the officer in charge of the training range. “He takes his time to teach the soldiers, and if they make mistakes, he will stop training so they understand what they did wrong.”
King, an 18-year Army veteran, attributed his life-saving quickness to experience.
“I think it was just pure instinct from several deployments,” he said.
King’s wife, Andrea, chimed in when she heard about the incident.
“What?” she said. “This is why you guys should have hazard [duty] pay.”
The company’s commander, Cpt. John O’Brien, said he will nominate King for a lifesaving award.
“The bravery and heroism that he displayed was phenomenal,” O’Brien said, according to army.mil.
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