Alabama Wins BCS Trooperbowl

Bomb Technician Surives Blast; Returns to Duty

Here is an amazing story of a soldier in Afghanistan to remind us of how much danger our troops put themselves in to serve, and how dedicated they are to their oath and duty. 

Undeterred Soldier Returns to Afghanistan

January 09, 2013

by Sgt. Gene Arnold

American Forces Press Service

An explosive ordnance disposal technician from Fort Drum, N.Y., is back in the country where he almost lost his life two years ago.  In March 2011, Wentzell was deployed to Regional Command South, where he cleared improvised explosive devices and unexploded ordnance…

Just days after the birth of his daughter, the unthinkable happened. A flash of light, heat and a sudden jolt of energy threw his body backward. He’d stepped on an anti-personnel mine attached to a 25-gallon jug packed with homemade explosives.

The mine exploded, but the jug didn’t. Still, Wentzell broke his tibia, fibula, heel, ankle and toes, and he was medically evacuated. “When I came to, I was angry; I wouldn’t be able to keep my guys safe,” Wentzell said. “I got depressed, because I was leaving my dudes. I knew I could keep them safe — I wasn’t sure about the next guy.” But he added that he considers himself lucky, noting that others had been killed or had lost limbs in explosions of similar mines.

The recovery process was long and hard, Wentzell said, but wasn’t as bad as he thought it would be. He credits his determination and fighting spirit for cutting down his recovery time.

Now deployed to Regional Command East, Wentzell said he has decided not to allow that one accident to define him. “I decided to come back here because I felt my time was cut short and I needed to do this,” he said.

This story, which warms your heart, is an incredible example of the character of our troops. It’s amazing to think of how brave these EOD technicians have to be, dealing with these IEDs which are the most dangerous threat to our troops in Afghanistan.

And then even more amazing is the dedication displayed by someone who survives such a blast to within an inch of his life, and out of concern for his teammates, still decides to return to the battlefield to continue his mission.

Our troops overseas go through so much to continue the fight, don’t they deserve a token of our gratitude and appreciation? Show your support now by sponsoring a care package to our troops in Afghanistan!



This week MAF held our first ever BCS Trooperbowl, where we allowed sponsors to donate packages to help the troops, while at the same time contributing to their favorite team. Notre Dame fans were pitted against Alabama fans to see which side would get more donations for the troops and as it turned out Alabama wins!

The final total was 142 ‘Yards’ for Alabama vs 69 ‘Yards’ for Notre Dame, in an outcome that matched the actual BCS Championship game where Alabama bested Notre Dame by a score of 42 – 14.


Now to fulfill our promise, MAF is shipping out a special set of care packages to some Alabama fans stationed in Afghanistan. Along with the coffee, cookies, Gatorade, beef jerky and other great things, these Troops will also receive an Alabama sports cap included in the packages!

Huge thanks to you, the fans and supporters of our troops, for the overwhelming support that made this possible!

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