Marines who witnessed the event from inside the compound caught glimpses of Garst’s feet flailing through the air just above the other side of the building’s eight-foot walls. The explosion knocked him at least fifteen feet away where he landed on his limp head and shoulders before immediately standing back up.There's tough, and there's Marine tough.
Not quite sure of what had just happened, Garst turned back toward the blast, now nothing but a column of dirt and smoke rising toward the sun.
“My first thought was, ‘Oh s---, I just hit an IED,’” he said. “Then I thought, ‘Well I’m standing. That’s good.’”
Garst’s squad stared at him in disbelief. The square-jawed Marine has a tendency to be short-tempered, and the realization that the blast was meant to kill him spiked his adrenaline and anger.
“It pissed me off,” he said.
He directed his men to establish a security perimeter while letting them know in his own way that he was OK.
“What the f--- are you looking at?” he said. “Get on the cordon!”
And pretty much luck. Not recommended as a standard IED detection method.