Meet AnnaLee Kruyer. Dr. Kruyer is an Army DDS, and recently spent a year in Iraq. Most of her time was spent training Iraqi dentists, dental students, and other specialists (she went with some U.S. veterinarians to consult with the keepers of the Baghdad zoo, which explains the pic of her with the critters), and giving check-ups to Iraqi kids. Occasionally, though, more colorful stuff came up. Such as Christmas Eve, last year.
Dr. Kruyer made a slide show of the story that's a little unwieldly, so I've rearranged it for web-reading pleasure.
Here's what happened: Sgt. C., an Army reservist, is leading one of two assault squads assigned to clear out some grumpy terrorists from a couple of houses. There's a lot of small-arms fire, so Sgt. C. decides he'll take a look around the corner and size up the situation before he moves his team forward. He goes around -- and there's one of the bad guys. Holding a 9mm pistol. It's pointed right at Sgt. C.'s face. Sgt. C. doesn't have time to react, or even to be scared. He just figures, "Crap, I'm dead."
The bad guy fires.
After a moment, Sgt. C. realizes he is still alive. Sgt. C. advances on the bad guy, who drops his gun and surrenders immediately.
The operation concludes. Sgt. C. figures he'll have a good story about how a guy missed him at close range. Then he starts to feel light-headed. And geez, his clothes have blood on them. His troops bundle their sarge off to the hospital.
Where they find this:
That thing I circled in red? That's a bullet.
Sgt. C. was shot in the face. The bullet knocked out his right upper incisor and lodged in his upper lip. (Warning: linked picture is slightly icky, not for the squeamish.) He gets a partial fabricated, and he's off and running. Dr. Kruyer notes that he'll get a better replacement when he gets stateside.
In addition to reminding us of the importance of good dental hygiene, and that the 9mm isn't all it's cracked up to be, this story teaches us something. Namely, that if you can shrug off a bullet to the head, you will plumb rattle the other guy.
Remember that face. And if you're ever in a bar and meet a guy who suggests you tell scar stories, loser buys the beer, make sure it isn't Sgt. C.