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US Soldier severed his own leg so he can save his crewmates

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“We realized there was nothing else we could do and just held on,” Maes said.

Last year, 21-year-old Army Spc. Ezra Maes was deployed in Poland when he woke up to notice that the tank he was in as part of a night training exercise was rolling down the hill.

“I called out to the driver, ‘Step on the brakes! But he shouted back that it wasn’t him.” Maes said.

The crew immediately jumped into their emergency brake procedure, but soon it became apparent that nothing was going to stop the tank they were in, which hit a speed of almost 90 miles an hour.

“We realized there was nothing else we could do and just held on,” Maes said.

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In the end, the tank eventually crashed into an embankment. This crash sent Maes flying across the machinery and getting his leg caught in one of the gears.

Still, despite the fact that he was stuck and in terrible pain, the incredible soldier only had one concern: the wellbeing of the rest of his crew.

Maes said “I pushed and pulled at my leg as hard as I could to get loose and felt a sharp tear. I thought I had dislodged my leg, but when I moved away, my leg was completely gone.”

Even though he was bleeding heavily, Maes was able to get himself to the back part of the tank so that he could grab a tourniquet from the medical kit. “All I could think about was no one knows we’re down here,” Maes said. “Either I step up or we all die.”

Once the tourniquet was in place on his leg, Maes called his crew mate and asked him to get his phone. He unlocked the phone and sent out a message to get help. Maes was then rushed to the hospital before being airlifted to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

“I feel super lucky,” Mayes said. “My crew all does. So many things could have gone wrong. Besides my leg, we all walked away pretty much unscathed.”

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