A toy remote-control truck saved the lives of six U.S. troops fighting in Afghanistan when they used it to detonate a roadside bomb, reports the New York Daily News
Staff Sgt. Chris Fessenden, who received the $500 toy truck from his brother, had begun using the truck to scout for bombs during his 2007 deployment to Iraq. The wireless camera mounted on top of the truck allowed him to screen areas for safety before sending in soldiers.
This simple toy became a lifesaver for a group of soldiers in Afghanistan when they borrowed it from Fessenden and used it to check for IEDs during a patrol. After the truck was sent out for reconnaissance, it tripped a wire that caused 500 pounds of explosives to detonate.
The soldiers operating the toy were at a safe distance at the time of the explosion, so nobody was hurt.
“At first, I was absolutely shocked,” said Ernie Fessenden, the staff sergeant’s brother who initially sent the toy overseas. “Then after that, it was, ‘Do you need another truck?” he told Today.com.
Ernie Fessenden has since launched a website called Trucks to Troops to raise money to build and ship more of the lifesaving toys over to troops in the Middle East.
“It’s like we went over to the bad guys and stuck a stick in their eye with a toy,” said Kevin Guy, the hobby shop owner who builds the toy trucks.
In addition to helping detect IEDs, the trucks also provide entertainment for soldiers.
“He really enjoyed it in Iraq, not only for the job, but as something to play with,” Ernie Fessenden said. “Anything we can do to make things better and make things go faster for them over there is something that they appreciate so much.”
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