Staff Sgt Chad Joiner is 31 years old, has served three tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, and has been "blown up" by IEDs seven different times.
From ABC News...
"It's nothing like you see in the movies," he said. "You see the flash, then you hear this loud, hollow boom. It shakes your whole body. It shakes you to the core. You feel the compression, you feel the shock wave. Dirt flies,
rocks fly, all kinds of stuff fly around. It sucks all the air out. You're deafened for a time period, confusion, ears ringing. You get that sulfur, that smoke smell."
Joiner's tone grows serious as he describes the various experiences, outside Baghdad, near Ramadi, and in Iraq's famous Sunni triangle. One blast was so serious it put him in rehab for six months, as doctors diagnosed him with Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI.
Through it all, Joiner never lost sight of his goal -- to serve his country. There were many times when he could have called it quits, but he kept signing up for new deployments.
He said there is a reason why he's still alive, "God has a plan for me."
"There's an obvious reason why I'm still here," Joiner said. "I don't know what it is yet, but there's a reason why He is keeping me around."
Would you keep serving after sustaining so many injuries? I would think that I may start second-guessing whether or not I was pressing my luck after 3 or 4 IED encounters.