When things stop working, it is generally a good idea to call customer service. Many companies have trained professionals on hand to answer calls and help customers with products that break down. Even major firearms manufacturers have customer service lines that can answer questions if a firearm malfunctions. But Don Cook, who services firearms at Barrett, never expected the phone call he got one day.
On the other side of the globe, a Marine unit was engaged in an active firefight, but their .50 caliber M-107 rifle wasn’t firing properly. With no time or tools but plenty of pressure, one Marine decided to call the manufacturer customer service line for help.
Don Cook, who is a Marine veteran himself, was the one who picked up the phone at Barrett. He was quickly informed of the problem and, by listening to the rifle over the phone, he was able to diagnose the problem. While performing maintenance on the rifle the night before, the Marines had inadvertently bent the lower receiver. Since they didn’t have the tools with them, Cook walked them through a quick improvised fix. The solution worked, and the gun started firing properly again. The whole conversation lasted between 30 and 45 seconds.
“They told me, ‘Thank you very much,'” Cook said in an interview with National Geographic. “They had more important things to do. And I heard a dial tone. It was that quick.”
“It’s probably one of the biggest highlights of my life, to be able to help a Marine unit in a firefight,” Cook added.
Watch the interview below, part of the National Geographic documentary Snipers Inc.
Jacob H. is an award-winning journalist and photojournalist who currently resides is West Michigan with his wife. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys writing, photography, mountain climbing, and camping.