British soldier Glenn Hockton, 19, says his rosary beads saved him while on tour in Afghanistan. He dropped the prayer beads, he said, and noticed as he bent down to retrieve them that he was standing on top of a land mine.Eastnews Press Agency/Peter Lawson
Glenn Hockton's great-grandfather, Joseph "Sunny" Truman, was also said to have been saved by his rosary beads while serving in the British army during World War II.Eastnews Press Agency/Peter Lawson
A British soldier says that rosary beads given to him by his mother saved his life after he stepped on a land mine while serving in Afghanistan.
He also claims that his grandfather was saved the exact same way, The Daily Mail reported Monday.
Now home from a seven-month tour of duty, 19-year-old Glenn Hockton was on patrol when his rosary beads suddenly dropped from his neck. He bent down to retrieve the chain and realized he was on top of a land mine.
Hockton stood still for 45 minutes while his colleagues worked to secure the land mine.
During his tour, Hockton's duties involved patrolling and loading the mortars while he was based in Kabul and Helmand Province, which has seen a significant amount of violence.
On a separate occasion, Hockton, who joined the military when he was 16, was shot in the chest, but his body armor protected him from the bullet. Since then, Hockton's mother and stepfather have kept the bullet that could have ended their son's life.
Hockton's great grandfather, Joseph (Sunny) Truman, also is convinced a rosary saved his life in World War II when a blast killed six members of his platoon.
Before Hockton was deployed to Afghanistan, his mother gave him the rosary beads for protection. Despite the gesture, his mother, Sheri Jones, feared the worst. "I couldn't watch the news because the children used to say: 'Is Glenn on there?' each time they said another soldier had been killed," she told the Daily Mail.
Hockton currently is training for his next deployment.