Cpl. Nicholas DeSantis-Austin was providing security on a rooftop in Sangin, Afghanistan, in August 2018 when he was shot in the head by a sniper.

DeSantis-Austin would survive the ordeal and was later awarded the Purple Heart in September 2018.

This June, the Kevlar helmet that saved his life was returned to him in a ceremony held at Fort Benning, Georgia.

According to the New York Times, the bullet “glanced off” the helmet. DeSantis-Austin was quickly returned to full duty after being shot in the head.

DeSantis-Austin was serving with a small group of Marine advisers in Afghanistan known as Task Force Southwest.

That unit was advising the 2nd Brigade of the Afghan National Army’s 215th Corps at Forward Operating Base Nolay in Sangin when DeSantis-Austin was shot.

The Purple Heart awarded to DeSantis-Austin was a first for Task Force Southwest.

Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.

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