I haven't printed a lot about what son's doing/been doing; partly he doesn't say a lot about things, and partly(if he did tell me a lot) I'm not the New York effin' Times, I don't want to inadvertently let something out. But it's been a while since this happened, so...
While back I was driving somewhere and the phone rang, it was he.
"How's things in your part of the world?"
"I no longer have a truck."
Confusion, as his truck was in the driveway five minutes ago. "What do you mean, it's in the-"
"I mean my truck here."
"Oh. What happened to it?"
"It blew up."
Yeah, that does kind of get your attention. However, he was obviously alive and not in pain or something so I figured any injury had to be minor, so "What happened?"
Background: A few months before this they'd gotten MRAPs to replace(for some uses) the humvees. They're big(gunners cupola on top is 12-feet off the ground), heavy, from his report handle such that saying they handle like pig would be insulting to the porcine race, and armored out the wazoo. In fact, during the wet season they couldn't use them on some roads: too big and heavy.
So, they're on patrol, rolling down the road, son in the cupola, when they hit a mine. As he described it it was like getting hit in the face with a hot pillow and then the MRAP stopped. Aw, crap. He's scanning for ambush(like everybody not inside that vehicle) and waiting for the aother shoe to drop. One-legged man this time, apparently an old mine. So once it was determined the bad guys weren't about to pop over the hilltops they assessed the damage and injuries. Injuries consisted of one guy inside who'd been snoozing with his helmet off; banged his head on the "Ow! Dammit!" level. Damage?
Left front wheel gone, suspension trashed(what was left of it), engine and tranny pretty much trashed. Nothing else. They found a 80-pound piece of the run-flat tire 200 yards away. The EOD guy who checked it out thought it was an old mine, at least a month; looked like the driver just happened to be a bit out of line with the vehicles in front so this vehicle tripped it.
No, at the time didn't pass this on to the grandparents, as they worry enough already.
About a month ago, after the unit moved to another area, another of the MRAPs went through an almost identical situation: big mine taking out one side of the front end. No injuries to speak of this time, either. The things are big, heavy and clumsy, but the armor works.
He also mentioned that the M240 he's been using is a very good piece. Among other things, from the vehicle mount he can put a belt into about a 3" group at 50 yards, which is pretty damn good for an MG.
And that was about the most exciting thing he's mentioned over time.