Life-saving helmet returned to Army sergeant

Local News
staff sgt michael mckenzie helmet_126023

A unique ceremony was held at Schofield Barracks Tuesday afternoon.

Staff Sgt. Michael J. McKenzie, 29, was presented with a special helmet — one that saved his life when he was hit in the head by an unknown projectile.

It happened during the summer of 2012 during a firefight in Afghanistan.

“I felt the impact, so I took off my helmet and I looked at my helmet to see where the impact was, and from there I was able to assess, I’m breathing, I’m moving, I’m not dead so I figured okay, I’m good now,” he said.

McKenzie says he suffered superficial wounds on his face, but “the helmet did its job” holding the bullet.

Anytime a soldier is involved in an incident, the Army collects the equipment and sends it to a lab for analysis.

Soldiers are then able to request the equipment be returned to them upon completion of the analysis.

“Just something kind of reminding you how serious life can get in an instant,” McKenzie said. “It may be a reminder for these other soldiers that hey man, this stuff works.”

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