Video: Troops remove unexploded RPG from Marine’s leg in Afghanistan


A new video shows U.S. troops removing an unexploded rocket-propelled grenade from the leg of Marine Cpl. Winder Perez in January. (YouTube screen grab)

Sometimes, it takes months for U.S. troops to talk publicly about their own heroism. Take the case of Cpl. Winder Perez, for example.

The 22-year-old Marine sustained a life-threatening wound from a rocket-propelled grenade in Afghanistan on Jan. 12, but survived when the ordnance didn’t explode. His life still hung in the balance, though — the wounds were serious, and the possibility of the RPG exploding while embedded in him remained.

That’s the story the military shared in a news release it produced last week. It credited an New Mexico National Guard helicopter crew with risking their lives to rush him to help at Forward Operating Base Edinburgh and Navy Lt. Cmdr. James Gennari with treating him medically. Army Staff. Sgt. Benjamin Summerfield, an explosive ordnance disposal specialist, removed the RPG from Perez’s body.

The helicopter crew included Capt. Kevin Doo, Sgt. Robert Hardisty and Spc. Mark Edens. The Captain James Lovell Federal Health Care Center Home, where Gennari is based, released video of the RPG being removed from Perez. Watch it here:


As expected, the story has generated a buzz online. This Ain’t Hell, the Huffington Post and CNN are among the sites who have covered the rescue.


About Author

I'm a senior writer with Marine Corps Times, covering ground warfare, manpower, weapons acquisition and other beats. I embedded in Afghanistan in spring 2010, and plan to return at least once in 2011.

1 Comment

  1. The lt comd James gennari is my brother who heads a mash unit in Afghanistan . He maintained airway and medical care of this young soldier while a live rpg was pulled from his thigh. He has the helmet on and blue gloves.

    He is a hero as is everyone else involved

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