07/27/2010 09:16 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Matt Garst Steps On IED, Absorbs Blast, Walks Away As Fellow Marines Stare In Disbelief In Afghanistan

In a story sure to become a recruiting legend for the Marines, Cpl. Matt Garst cheated death in Afghanistan when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) and absorbed the blast with the stoicism the Marines are famous for.

Garst blacked out after the IED went off, and the next thing he knew he was standing upright fifteen feet away, clutching his rifle, while his fellow squad members looked on in shock.

Marines who witnessed the event from inside the compound caught glimpses of Garst's feet flailing through the air just above the other side of the building's eight-foot walls. The explosion knocked him at least fifteen feet away where he landed on his limp head and shoulders before immediately standing back up.

"My first thought was, 'Oh shit, I just hit an IED,'" he said. "Then I thought, 'Well I'm standing. That's good.'"

Read more about the incident from the U.S. Marines website here.