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Soldiers being given equipment that protected them

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FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) - Two 101st Airborne Division soldiers are being given back equipment that's believed to have saved their lives in Afghanistan.

The military says ceremonies are set at the post Thursday for Staff Sgt. Joseph Mata of Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, and 1st Lt. Sean Johnson of Battery B, 2nd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment.

Fort Campbell, located on the Kentucky-Tennessee state line, says Mata's helmet protected him when an explosive device threw his vehicle nearly 15 feet in September 2010. The post says Johnson was wearing body armor with a side armor plate that stopped shrapnel from entering his abdomen when a roadside bomb detonated during a June 2013 foot patrol.

Program Executive Office Soldier, the organization in Virginia that develops body armor and other equipment, had collected the battle-damaged pieces for analysis.

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