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This Army Specialist Went On The World's Most Insane Water Slide And Lived To Tell About It
"If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough," goes the unofficial theme song of Johnny Knoxville & Co., and that sentiment almost certainly applies to the latest video blowing up on Reddit.
Titled "This should be fun," the 37-second video features a tattooed man giving the aforementioned quote before barreling down a near-vertical drainage ditch at an insane rate of speed before he crashes into rocks at the bottom — all caught on the trusty GoPro camera he brought along for the ride.
Although the Reddit video cuts off at that moment — leading many commenters to assume he met his demise — Army Spc. Steve Jackson is actually doing just fine. In fact, he wouldn't necessarily rule out giving it another try some day.
"I'm undecided," he told me in a phone interview. "If I do this thing again, I’ll definitely go down to the bottom first."
It took me a while to find Jackson, who said he doesn't mind using his name here, since his chain of command is aware of the video in question (they called him an idiot and thanked him for a good laugh, he said). The video didn't say who he was or where it was shot, but fortunately, the Reddit comments section, Google Maps, and some social media sleuthing helped me figure it all out.
The drainage slide is just off the H1 freeway in Oahu, Hawaii, about 20 minutes from where Jackson's stationed at Schofield Barracks. He said he spotted it off the freeway one day and figured it was pretty epic. He's also not the first one to give this one a try, though past daredevils used surfboards instead of a license plate.
As it turns out, when heavy rain hits the island, the bottom turns into a giant pool of water similar to what you'd find at a water park — which is what Jackson was expecting on his way down. But since a bridge is in the way, it's impossible to see exactly what's at the bottom when you're standing at the top.
"It was heavy rain when we were doing it, and I just assumed a pool of water would be down there," he said. "But it wasn’t. I just went crashing into the rocks."
For his trouble, Jackson got plenty of road rash, a fractured ankle, and a broken wrist. Plus a video of the insanity he captioned with "famous last words I feel like this is a bad idea and guess what it was a terrible idea."
But he's doing okay now! And note to readers — and Jackson — please don't ever try this at home, or anywhere, for that matter.
Here is the full video of the incident he posted to Facebook the day after he went down the slide a few months ago:
‘I made promises to the people that I lost’— How the Iraq war forged a Navy SEAL’s path to Harvard Medical School and NASA
Navy Lt. Jonny Kim went viral last week when NASA announced that he and 10 other candidates (including six other service members) became the newest members of the agency's hallowed astronaut corps. A decorated Navy SEAL and graduate of Harvard Medical School, Kim in particular seems to have a penchant for achieving people's childhood dreams.
However, Kim shared with Task & Purpose that his motivation for living life the way he has stems not so much from starry-eyed ambition, but from the pain and loss he suffered both on the battlefields of Iraq and from childhood instability while growing up in Los Angeles. Kim tells his story in the following Q&A, which was lightly edited for length and clarity:
You can almost smell the gunpowder in the scene captured by a Marine photographer over the weekend, showing a Marine grunt firing a shotgun during non-lethal weapons training.
A Marine grunt stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina is being considered for an award after he saved the lives of three people earlier this month from a fiery car crash.
Cpl. Scott McDonell, an infantry assaultman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, was driving down Market Street in Wilmington in the early morning hours of Jan. 11 when he saw a car on fire after it had crashed into a tree. Inside were three victims aged 17, 20, and 20.
"It was a pretty mangled wreck," McDonell told ABC 15. "The passenger was hanging out of the window."
New Vietnam War movie 'The Last Full Measure' takes some well-deserved shots at the military’s award process
Todd Robinson's upcoming Vietnam War drama, The Last Full Measure, is a story of two battles: One takes place during an ambush in the jungles of Vietnam in 1966, while the other unfolds more than three decades later as the survivors fight to see one pararescueman's valor posthumously recognized.
With ISIS trying to reorganize itself into an insurgency, most attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq are being carried out by Shiite militias, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.
"In the time that I have been in Iraq, we've taken a couple of casualties from ISIS fighting on the ground, but most of the attacks have come from those Shia militia groups, who are launching rockets at our bases and frankly just trying to kill someone to make a point," Grynkewich said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.