Repair Stories

The Amazing Break: Military Files

As part of iFixit’s Community Survey, we collected some amazing stories about how you use, break, and fix your stuff. The stories were too good not to share. So, we started a series of blog posts—The Amazing Break—to document your collective awesomeness.

Broken iPhone as part of The Amazing Break

Of course, Memorial Day is just around the corner. To mark the day, we’ve compiled all the best stories we got from the servicemen, servicewomen, and veterans in our community.

Thanks for doing what you do, fellows.

Major Pain

“I work communications in the military, I had a buddy who had an iPhone that he put on top of a Humvee. Then the truck pulled off, the phone fell off the truck and was ran over by another one. The phone was found and returned to the owner. It was still functional but needed new glass, a screen, and a home button.”

Rollover Minutes

“My 2008 MacBook Pro was with me in a vehicle rollover in Iraq and I watched as it slowly bounced off every metal surface in the vehicle. Two days later, it caught a bullet too, though I think that was overkill. (Interesting fact: the bullet most likely came from a wedding party that was firing rounds in the air. The round came through the roof of my hut).”

Takes a lickin’, keeps on tickin’

“Titanium PowerBook shot by 7.62mm round in Takrit, Iraq before the US military secured the town during Gulf War 2. The round went through the door of a humvee, into the side of a Pelican case, and hit the edge of the display where it stopped. The laptop was still functional for years.”

Battle Hymn of the iPod

“During a military deployment I took apart and fixed a buddy’s iBook outside on a small table in the middle of the southern Afghanistan desert. I also rigged our Humvee’s com system so iPods could play through them.”

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

“Fixed a $6-mil military radar with parts out of a broken XBox in Iraq.”

Combat Veteran iPhone

“Arghandab, Afghanistan, 2009: I always carry my iPhone3G on me for various lame tasks: music, calculator, etc. Nothing sensitive. We get ambushed in a village and take RPG fire, real close proximity impact knocks the living shit out of me. I take minor shrapnel, a few scratches, my right sleeve shreds up to my shoulder, my kit (SOHPC) torn up, two mag pouches gone. After the firefight I’m going through my kit and I find my iPhone in a front accessory pouch—back and glass broken, looked unrecoverable. Didn’t expect to salvage it.

When we got home I gutted it, saved everything I could, even the tiny speaker. Over the years, my wife’s iPhone shit the bed. I’ve been able to keep it alive till now using the spare parts. Thanks, Steve Jobs, and thank you, iFixit! We can do it. The combat veteran iPhone continues to serve our country, even in afterlife.”