Army Corporal Jerald Kendrick was 23 years old the first time he watched an atomic bomb explode. The light was so bright, he says, “you could see all the bones in your arms.”
During the height of the Cold War, the United States conducted 210 atmospheric nuclear tests. What's often forgotten today are the thousands of soldiers and Marines who performed various duties during the blasts, including charging the mushroom cloud. A participant in 1957's Operation Plumbbob, Kendrick was stationed at Camp Desert Rock at the Nevada National Security Site. Some of the explosions he witnessed were larger than both Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
“Despite the radiation dangers he faced, Kendrick doesn't regret the life-changing experience: "I was privileged to serve here."
Video produced by Sarah Parsons. Editor: Craig Rice. Directors of Photography: Ricky Montalvo, Victor Velazquez. Audio engineer: John Adams. Graphics by Todd Tanner for Yahoo! Studios. Executive Producer: Anna Robertson