ANNA MARIA -- Georgia tourists Mitchell Lee, 37, and Jason Waldron, 36, have been best friends since childhood, and Waldron is always doing something to make Lee laugh.
So Lee, a member of the Georgia Air National Guard who just returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan, thought Waldron was joking when he yelled out during a vacation swim off Anna Maria Island on Monday, “Hey, I just found a grenade!”
“I said, ‘No you didn’t,’ ” Lee said.
“Yes, I did, wanna see?” Waldron repeated, showing Lee the unexploded grenade from World War II or the Vietnam era he had just unearthed from silt with his toes in about four feet of water near the Rod & Reel Pier.
“Yes, you did,” Lee said, astonished.
The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad later collected the grenade, which was highly corroded from years of being buried under water. The bomb squad destroyed it Tuesday during an operation at an undisclosed farm off State Road 64, said Lt. Gary Sammons, commander of the bomb squad.
“I couldn’t believe that I came all the way from Afghanistan only to be handed a grenade on vacation,” Lee said, laughing and shaking his head.
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