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In 1957, Joel Healy witnessed one of the largest nuclear tests ever conducted on U.S. soil.

Healy was in the U.S. Army, stationed in the Nevada desert north of Las Vegas at Camp Desert Rock. He was 17 years old and a private first class at the time.

Healy drove dump trucks, moved materials, and built structures, like houses, that would be destroyed by the explosions so the Army could study the effects of a nuclear blast. He also helped build the towers where many of the bombs were detonated.

The economic news has been nothing but grim lately: weak expansion, sluggish consumer spending and unemployment holding steady at just over 9 percent.

Overseas, the picture isn't any rosier, with Greece expected to default on its debts — possibly followed by Portugal and Ireland — and the International Monetary Fund predicting a global economic slowdown.

So is the U.S. heading for a double-dip recession? Or are we there already? And what can we do about it?

Operation Twist