On December 1, 2011, Nick Kimmel was a young marine on his second deployment in Afghanistan. That morning his unit was building a patrol base for a clearing operation in the Sangin Valley. Kimmel was standing on a forklift taking measurements for a guard post on the perimeter of the patrol base. Dressed in full combat gear, Kimmel says he weighed about 280 pounds.
“When I jumped down off the forklift, I landed with enough force to set off a 40-pound IED [improvised explosive device],” he remembers.