(tis but a flesh wound. – promoted by Rob “EaBo Clipper” Eno)
At six feet, two inches tall and 260 pounds with all his gear on, Garst is easily the largest man in his squad by 30 or 40 pounds – just enough extra weight to trigger the IED buried deep in hard-packed soil.
Since Garst’s improbable run-in with the IED, his tale has spread through the rest of the battalion, and as often happens in combat units, the story mutates, the tale becoming more and more extraordinary about what happened next: He held onto his rifle the whole time … He actually landed on his feet … He remained unmoved, absorbing the impact like he was muffling a fart in a crowded elevator …
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!”
But he saw no reason being sore should slow him down. He popped some ibuprofen and after a day of rest, Garst was back out on patrol, showing his Marines and the enemy that just like his resolve – Cpl Matt Garst is unbreakable.