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From 'Hurt Locker' to 'Back to School'


March 2012

If you've seen the Oscar-winning movie "The Hurt Locker," you have some idea of what John Fury experienced during a six-month tour as an explosive ordinance disposal technician in Iraq.

Now an SAU student and a Davenport police officer, Fury said the movie had its share of Hollywood flourishes, but did effectively convey the edge-of-your-seat nature of his work in Iraq.

"The intensity, I would say that part was accurate. There are no uniforms (for insurgents) over there. You really are guessing who is going to come at you next," he said.

A Marine from 2001 through 2009, Fury said he and a teammate "rendered safe" more than 150 bombs and IEDs during a particularly intense time for troops in Iraq from October 2006 to March 2007.

He suffered a traumatic brain injury just 10 days before returning home when the vehicle in which he and three fellow troops were riding was completely destroyed by 1,000 pounds of explosives hidden in a culvert running under a road. All four were knocked unconscious, but their lives were spared because they were in a joint response vehicle equipped with 32,000 pounds of armor. "Basically a bank truck on steroids," Fury said.

Fury spent the final three years of his military career stateside, and during that time he resumed a college education he'd abandoned to join the Marines, taking classes through the American Military University online program. 

He returned to Davenport as a civilian in 2010, then enrolled in the SAU adult learner program. While working fulltime as a Davenport police officer, Fury intends to obtain his bachelor's in accounting and then pursue a master's.  He said he will continue his police career, where he believes an SAU education is sure to serve him well.

–Craig DeVrieze


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