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Stories of Survival

Nine Months of Hell in Mariupol: How This Real-Life Rambo Survived, Resisted, and Escaped Captivity

By John Spencer As I sat in a clean, elegant café in downtown Kyiv it was nearly impossible for me to comprehend the story I was being told. My interviewee was a quiet, humble former active-duty Ukrainian Marine from Mariupol named Gennadiy (or Gena for short). But while Gena was …

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The Soviets Used a Thermonuclear Bomb to Extinguish a Hellish Fire That Raged for Years

After the Soviets discovered huge reserves of natural gas in Uzbekistan, this part of the USSR became the main gas producing region in the country. But things went wrong, and one of its key gas fields turned into a man-made disaster of unimaginable magnitude. Hellish fire The unprecedented emergency at …

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Captured in the Desert: A Soldier’s Misfortune With the French Foreign Legion in Algeria

The French Foreign Legion these days is more exclusive than it used to be. If there is an Interpol notice against you, for example, you won’t get through the gate. A century ago, however, a man who wanted to escape his past and assume a new identity could disappear into …

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Starved, Stabbed, and Tortured: This British Army Veteran Was Captured by Russians in Ukraine

Shaun Pinner was convicted of being a mercenary and undergoing training to carry out terrorist activities, among other charges. A British Army veteran who went to Ukraine to fight against Russia counts himself lucky to have survived fighting in the war, let alone being held captive by Russian troops. Shaun Pinner …

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A Nuclear Blast Would Bring Hell on Earth: Blinding Light, Searing Heat, and Intense Winds

by Susan Katz Keating Vladimir Putin last year assured listeners that, for the time being, he sees no reason to launch major strikes on Ukraine. The Russian president’s lightly veiled reference to exercising nuclear restraint was akin to the class bully promising not to beat up the other kids – …

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‘I’m Coming’: Father Races to Save Daughter Who Was Bleeding to Death After Being Shot by Hamas

When Neta Portal’s parents divorced six years ago, she stopped speaking to her father. But when Hamas terrorists shot her repeatedly, the 22-year-old turned to the only person she knew would save her life: her estranged father, Shimon Portal. He responded as only a father would. He raced to find …

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With Seconds to Spare, This Soldier Saved a Woman From a Burning Car

By Sgt. 1st Class Laura Berry, Massachusetts National Guard STERLING, Mass. – Specialist Ryan Leger finished his drill with Massachusetts National Guard’s 110th Maintenance Company, and his wife picked him up. As they were driving home, they noticed how nice the sunset looked. His wife, Courtney, a photographer, wanted to stop …

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Trapped Inside a Tank, This Soldier Cut Off His Own Leg to Save the Injured Crew

Specialist Ezra Maes and his two armor crew teammates were jolted awake by their M1A2 Abrams tank as it rolled downhill at nearly 90 mph with them inside. The sheer force of the vehicle hitting an embankment threw Maes from his position, and his right leg was immediately pinned down …

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Green Berets Train to Survive Mountain Warfare

The mountains above Bridgeport, California, have been home to mountain warfare survival training for Special Forces, Marines, and others. In this frosty vid, Green Berets with the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) partner with United Arab Emirates Special Operations to conduct long range reconnaissance training at the U.S. Marine Corps …

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