New Underwear Protects Troops

Protective undergarments limit IED damage
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2012 1:51 PM CDT
New Underwear Protects Troops
US servicemen board a plane to Afghanistan at the US transit center Manas on March 27, 2012.   (Getty Images)

US troops are more protected "down there" thanks to new ballistic underwear, USA Today reports. Staff Sgt. Ross Cox was wearing the underwear when he stepped on an IED in Afghanistan: His left foot was blown off and his right leg was shattered, but his injuries could have been much worse. "I asked once, I said, 'Hey, are those OK?'" Cox says, referring to his genitals. "He's like, 'Yeah, you're fine. You're fine there.' That's all I needed to know."

Cox and the rest of his brigade were concerned that the protective undergarments, or PUGs, would slow them down—Cox says the underwear is "like a Kevlar diaper"—but when an IED "pretty much took the lower half" of the body of a soldier in another platoon, Cox began to wonder if the PUGs would have helped limit the damage. In fact, genital injuries are down significantly since PUGs were introduced; the underwear can also limit abdominal injuries. "The garment that I was wearing stopped everything from literally blowing up my rear," Cox says. "This literally saved my butt." (More US military stories.)

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