FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — A soldier attending basic training died from a massive rush of blood to his penis after firing the M2 .50-caliber machine gun for the first time, sources confirmed today.
Pvt. Alvero Rojas was six weeks into basic training when his unit went to the range for familiarization fire with several of the Army's crew served weapons.
"Rojas enlisted to become an Admin Specialist but we take all of our basic trainees to the range to fire these weapons to give them an idea of what it's like," said Sgt. 1st Class Alexander Pitts, Rojas's lead drill sergeant. "Just because a soldier is slated to end up behind a desk doesn't mean they won't find themselves shooting a .50 or MK19 at some point."
Rojas's death was regretted by his entire basic training company.
"He was liked by everybody in the unit. He always found a way to liven everyone's spirits when training got tough. I know he was so excited to fire the .50-cal," said Private Stephanie Taylor. "All he talked about for the week leading up to it were the weapon system's capabilities. He actually walked around quoting the Army field manual about it."
Witnesses stated that as Rojas began to fire the machine gun, he sprouted an erection which became so large it busted through the notoriously weak crotch seam of his ACU pants. Army medical officials listed his cause of death as priapism, described as "a persistent, usually painful, erection that lasts for more than four hours and occurs without sexual stimulation."
"We probably shouldn't have waited four hours to get him medical attention," Taylor said. "We've all seen the ads, and should've known the risks."
Rojas fired his full combat load before passing out due to the lack of blood and oxygen in his brain.
At first, the company just laughed off the situation, and drew giant erections on his face in sharpie. But when he wouldn't wake up, he was then medevaced to the post hospital where doctors tried furiously to revive him. After several hours of ice baths, being shown pictures of his grandmother in a bathing suit, and having two business men talk to him about Six Sigma, Rojas succumbed to his condition and passed away.
"We tried everything in our knowledge," said doctor Steven McCanon. "No matter what we did, we just couldn't seem to reverse the effect that firing that weapon had on him."
"I'm always happy to have soldiers excited about training, and getting to shoot the big guns usually gets them pumped up but I never expected anything like this. I'm not really sure what we can do to prevent this in the future or if we even really learned anything here," said Pitts.
Company members have renamed Rojas' weapon ".50-Cialis" in his memory.