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HP iPod takes bullet for soldier in Iraq

Updated on April 10, 2007

I've heard of stories in World War II where soldiers with bibles in their pockets were saved from the enemy bullets. Apparently, the excess bulk offered special protection for those fast-moving projectiles.

Now a new chapter has unfolded to that legend as US soldier Kevin Garrad had his life spared from the path of a moving bullet by an iPod. The story goes that Garrad of the 3rd Infantry Division was on a patrol in Iraq and was fired upon by an insurgent with an AK-47. There was shooting exchange on both sides, and the insurgent was killed.

After the incident was over, Kevin tried to play some music on his HP iPod. When he didn't hear anything, he fished it out of his pocket and found the source of the problem: a bullet lodged in the corner.

Up to that point, Garrad had no idea he had been shot. Soldiers in the streets of Iraq are required to wear body armor, but even the best type cannot stop all bullets. Apparently, this HP iPod provided the initial protection required to block a speeding bullet entirely.

However, there have been several reports from various internet news sources that the HP iPod alone saved the soldier, but it was more than likely a result of the iPod and the body armor. It is amazing how stories like these can saturate the net without any complete verification of facts. But hey, "Ipod stops a bullet for U.S. Soldier in Iraq". With a headline like that, how can you resist the copy?

Perhaps even more interesting is that I know the name of the soldier whose life was saved by the unintentionally self-sacrificing HP iPod, but I don't know the name of the insurgent who died in the conflict. I also don't know exactly why the insurgent was fired upon the troops, and I suppose I should just assume that it was they didn't like U.S. Troops there. I suppose it is nice to hear that with all the news of U.S. soldiers dying in Iraq, it is good to hear that one was spared, especially in a means that is almost divinely miraculous.

If nothing else, this incident gives some publicity for the iPod. As if it needs it, since Apple just announced that the 100 millionth iPod has just been sold on the eve of its five-and-a-half year anniversary. I have heard that Apple has volunteered to replace Garrad's iPod, which is might nice of them, considering that damage by gunfire is not covered on the warranty.


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