A few sheets of metal, some batting was all that stood behind a soldier and a bullet ending his life during a firefight in Afghanistan.
But Army Staff Sgt. Steven "Bryan" McQueen was able to accept the helmet, now attached to a plaque, during a ceremony Monday at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, WJLA reported.
The helmet is also helping researchers develop better protective gear to save the lives of members of the military.
Military officials are looking at what the helmet is made of and how it was able to stop the round from killing McQueen.
#Army staff sergeant reunited with helmet that saved his life in #Afghanistan. #USA #military https://t.co/DCGxEuJ8xm— Tim Barber (@ABC7TimBarber) March 5, 2019
"To see the helmet and [the round] went layer after layer and he's still here -- so yeah, I was in shock," Aaron McQueen, the staff sergeant's wife, said during a press conference at the post.
And while she knows how close he got to not coming home, their three children don’t understand.
"I don't really understand how to explain it to them other than them looking at that [helmet] periodically and telling them the story, 'Yeah, this is the day daddy came close,'" Staff Sgt. McQueen told WJLA.
He said that he wasn’t always as fond of the helmet as he is now, pointing out it was not comfortable and was bulky and heavy. But now he has a different view.
"I was sorely mistaken. This helmet works and I am a living testament to it," the staff sergeant told WJLA.
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