Cpl. Nicholas DeSantis-Austin, who survived being shot in the head by a sniper, was given back the Kevlar helmet that saved his life in a ceremony held at Fort Benning, Georgia, this June 9.
DeSantis-Austin served with a small group of Marine advisers in Afghanistan known as Task Force Southwest.
His unit was advising the 2nd Brigade of the Afghan National Army’s 215th Corps at Forward Operating Base Nolay in Sangin, Afghanistan, in August 2018. DeSantis-Austin was shot while providing security on a rooftop, according to Marine Corps Times.
The bullet “glanced off” the helmet, DeSantis-Austin was quickly returned to full duty after being shot in the head.
DeSantis-Austin would survive the ordeal and was later awarded the Purple Heart in September 2018, according to Marine Corps Times.
DeSantis-Austin’s the Purple Heart was a first one for Task Force Southwest.