A FOX News cameraman helped save the life of an injured Marine in Afghanistan — and was injured himself — when the armored Humvee convoy he was traveling in was struck by a roadside bomb Sunday night in the Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold.
Two U.S. Marines were badly injured when the improvised explosive device detonated near their convoy. Though FOX News cameraman Chris Jackson was injured in the blast, he went back to the burning vehicle to rescue one of the Marines.
"The cabin was on fire and I jumped out," said Jackson in a report filed immediately following the attack. "I went, grabbed the sergeant out of the shotgun seat, pulled him out."
While Jackson and the Marines assisted the injured sergeant, the heat inside the burning vehicle began to fire off the ammunition inside it.
"We checked him over; his leg was injured. We then carried him away behind a second armored Humvee because the ammunition from the first armored Humvee was cooking off and firing in all directions."
Helmand province, the site of the IED blast, is a hotbed of insurgent activity and the largest opium poppy growing area in the world.
The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit moved into the province's capital of Garmser in April to drive out the Taliban, and military officials say more than 400 insurgents have been killed so far in the campaign.
"For most of my Marines — about 25 out of the 45 — this is their second or third deployment, and it's not their first IED strike, so we're pretty adept at handling them at this point," said Lt. John Branson, commander of the platoon that was struck by the IED. "But they can always get one over on us every once in a while."
Jackson, 35, a longtime freelancer for FOX News, has been with the Jerusalem bureau since 2007. He is traveling in Afghanistan with FOX News correspondent Oliver North on assignment for "War Stories with Oliver North," working on a documentary on the Special Forces. North is a retired Marine lieutenant colonel.