The pictures I have attached are from a deployment of mine to Iraq with the Marines. We picked the short straw and were stuck with route clearance duties for all of the convoys in Western Iraq in 2004, which was not an awesome time to be running convoys. After several months of blowing shit up Al Qaeda sent a suicide bomber to take out our team. We were hit by a vehicle born suicide bomb while returning to our base on December 22nd 2004. Everyone ended up surviving, but most of us were hurt pretty damn bad. Our driver Matt Dickson was knocked out in the burning truck and ended up rupturing some internal organs, and was in a coma for a few days. Our 240 gunner on the port side, Tyler Ziegel, had 3rd degree burns over most of his body, and lost an arm and most of his remaining fingers. Our gunner on the starboard side Jesse Schertz, who is like a brother to me, had serious burns to his hands and face and lost a leg. Our demo guy Pete Carey, who was the hero of this!
Tory, had some burns to his face and hands but still pulled Tyler out of the fire and started treating all of our wounds even though he was in a huge amount of pain and his hands didn’t work that good. I, Jeremy Janssen, was the .50 cal gunner in the turret and was thrown down into the burning truck after we got hit. I had three compression fracture to my spine, had my right arm torn apart, took shrapnel to both legs, broke a couple ribs, had burns on my left arm that needed grafts, and suffered a traumatic brain injury…and I was one of the most lightly wounded Marines. I was knocked out for a few minutes after the blast threw me into the bottom of the burning truck. When I woke up I was having a lot of trouble breathing and moving in general with a busted arm and legs. I tried to open the door, which was on fire, and ended up burning my hand. I then tried to climb out of the turret, and was just about ready to give up and pass out when suddenly I realized I was out !
of the truck and on the roof. To this day I don’t know how I made it out. We had a lot of trouble getting the medevac out to us, and were loaded into our ambulance only to be unloaded to wait on a Helo. Our doc., Sean Bott managed to keep all of us alive until the bird finally got there. On the way to being loaded up on the helo I was dumped off my stretcher…which was awesome! We then were bounced around to a series of field hospitals, then to Germany where I spent Christmas and new years, and finally to Brooke Army Medical Center. You can see what is left of the ring mount from my gun in on of the pictures. After being in the hospital on and off again for several months, and then being put on limited duty for a couple of years, I was retired medically in 2006. Our story of survival is amazing because none of us should really be here….but we are. Chive on!