We love getting reader letters and emails, but some of the best have come from our military. There are no stories quite like the ones written by our soldiers on duty, in massive off-road vehicles that make our puny 1-ton trucks look like kid’s stuff.
And there is one chain of correspondences in particular that we thought you’d love to see.
April 18, 2010
I’m a soldier over in Afghanistan, and my team member and I have pimped out our assault truck. It will climb just about anything. We have pics and info on it, and I was looking on your web page for an email address to send some pics. I think a lot of people back home would appreciate how badass this truck is.
Off-Road: That sounds awesome! We’d love to get some pics into the magazine! Please send some.
April 23, 2010
Here’s what we have done to the truck (a Maxx Pro):
- 5.1 surround-sound stereo system
- PA system, plus sirens
- Water methanol kit
- 42-inch run-flat Michelin XZL tires
- Lockers front and rear
- Engine DT 570 inline six-cylinder diesel pushing about 650 hp and about 1190 lb-ft of torque at 1,200 rpm
- Allison 3200SP five-speed transmission
The vehicle has enough armor to withstand a 300-pound improvised explosive device (IED). I would know: we hit one and it lifted us up about three feet in the air and shoved the front axle a foot back. But we still drove her home! Now the weapon system on our lovely truck is a M22 .50 cal with armor-piercing rounds. The gun is mounted on a crow system—it’s like a video game to the gunner. All he has to do is look at a computer screen and push a button. The overall weight of our party bus is around 49,000 pounds, and she seats five.
Here is a picture of the hole the IED left after we hit it, and we still drove our truck home afterwards!
Off-Road: Man, that thing is awesome! I can’t imagine tapping an IED. That’s impressive you were able to still drive it out after that. It’s definitely one badass truck.
April 29, 2010
I regret to inform you that as of April 29, 2010, at 12:32 our truck (AKA Betsy) died. We will miss her as she was the greatest truck in all of Afghanistan. So here’s what happened:
We were on our way back from a mission when we rounded a corner and came to a riverbed. As we dropped in, we hit a 200-pound IED right under truck. Our 300-pound tire landed 75 meters to our left! Unfortunately, she never had a chance.
I’m sending you pics of her death. As sad as it is, all of us walked away from the incident. Thanks to taxpayers’ money, our lives were saved. I hope you can use all these pics in your mag. That’s what Betsy would have wanted.
Thanks much. Hope you enjoy the pics.
If you have some great pictures from the front line that you want to send us, please do! Email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know your story. We can leave out your names or personal information if you desire, or just let us know if the pics were meant for “our eyes only” and we’ll keep them to ourselves. Either way, let us know what you’ve been up to!