You’re looking at the damage caused by a ball-bearing as it struck the iPhone in a soldier’s pocket after a bomb was detonated by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan, reports KSL.

Staff Sgt. Shaun Frank survived a blast from just feet away. Part of the reason is because his iPhone stopped some of the shrapnel from piercing his body.

“They did tell him when he got back to base that that iPhone probably saved his life,” said Frank’s sister, Alisha Lantz.

Given that the phone was in his pants pocket at the time, I did wonder whether saving his life might have been an exaggeration, but writing in the comments below Sgt. Frank said:

I can confirm that the iPhone did in fact save my life by saving my artery! Lucky or just someone watching down on me from above, either way I am making the most of my time left on this earth as you never know when your time is up.

The phone was destroyed in the explosion. Apple said the company will replace it, but they would need to retain the destroyed phone. Frank chose to have the phone returned as a memento, and his sister, Alisha Lantz, is now appealing to Apple to send him a new one.

“Beausee the old phone meant so much to him, we chose to get the old phone,” Lantz explained.

It’s been months now, and Frank is still in Afghanistan without a phone. His family in Utah is doing everything they can to get him a new one.

“He needs a new iPhone. Apple, please give him a new iPhone,” Lantz said. “I’m just so proud of him. He’s just… he’s my hero.”

Apple has declined to comment.

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