Monday, August 6, 2007

Once you feel at home...

... and you begin to feel that you are safe and things are normal, the war comes and slaps you across the face. I don't know how to describe how or why that is, but it holds true. The second you begin to think "Hey this doesn't feel like a war" thats when it happens. Its like clockwork. Thats what happened to us the other day.

It was early in the morning. I had stayed up late, almost until daybreak and I had just gone to bed. I was sleeping good when I was awoken by a loud explosion and the rattling of the walls. I sat up in bed as the incoming warning sirens were blaring. Then another thunderous explosion. This one sounded like it had landed right on top of me. The concusion of the explosion threw helmets off the walls they hung on and anything laying on the window ledge ended up on the floor. Our windows are covered up, but we have a soda can sized hole in ours that is covered with tinfoil. The force of the explosion blew that right open. The giant ray of light shone through the darkness, allowing our imagination to run wild.

My grenadier, who sleeps above me, woke up to that explosion and to a giant hole right by him and immediately thought it was shrapnel that caused it. I've never seen him hop down from the bed so quick. Almost immediately following, 4 more explosions rocked our building, sounding like each one was a direct hit. At this point almost everyone was awake wondering what was going on.

We gathered in a safe area and just listened to the sounds of what would be the largest mortar barrage of this deployment. The explosions could be heard all over the FOB, but even the far ones were loud and could be felt. We came to find out that these were the big boys; 120mm mortars. These are no joke. Mortars don't get much bigger than this and they have the capicity to fuck a lot of shit up. The mortars continued to come and come and come. I've never heard so many of them exploding just one after another after another. It had to be 20+. I'm not real sure of the official count.

When it was all said and done, somehow no one was hurt. At least not bad enough for any word to spread around. Thank God. There was of course damage to things here and there. To be expected when that many mortars, especially the large ones, fall on the FOB. Once it quited down, we ventrued outside to assess the damage, expecting to see where one had hit our building. Nothing did, but one had hit about 25 meters from our door, which was probably the one that was so loud. It had left a nice crater in the dirt and many flat tires and fractured glass on trucks in its wake. It was going to be a bad day for the mechanics.

The greatest casualty was the internet though. Walking around the FOB that day you could see where all the new mortar marks were, and also all sorts of downed wire. Apparently one of them was on of the wires that brought internet to my part of the FOB. It has been a couple days now, and they still have yet to fix it. I have been forced to go down to the computer lab. Uggg!

Finally I was talking with my old squad leader last night. I don't remeber how we started talking about it, but we came on the subject of Ramadan (sp?) one of the biggest Muslim holidays. Durring this time, the insurgent attacks increase sharply, and worst of all it takes place in October, the month I go on leave. Fortunately for me, they had opened up December for leave and a week or so ago were asking if anyone wanted it. I dont think there were any takes, and so today after much thinking, I decided to move my leave back 2 months. This kind of sucks, but it will be good for many reasons.

First if I was home on leave and shit went down here during the holiday, I would never let myself live that down. Also, the weather will be nice then, so I'd rather get away once it starts getting cold. Once I get back we won't have that much longer until we are leaving here, so that will be nice too. Finally, depending on the timing of my leave, I could possibly get my birthday, Christmas and New Years all back home in Phoenix. How awesome would that be. So now, once my leave window began to shine in the dark tunnel, it is now once again a mere speck of light. Now far enough off to not even think about it for a while.


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10 comments:

David M said...

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 08/06/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

Haole Wahine said...

It would indeed be awesome for you to have your birthday, Christmas, and New Years at HOME.

Should we be sending more tin foil, as in heavy duty?

SYLKY said...

Eddie Munster I thank God that we have brave soldiers like you defending us, and thanking Him extra for keeping you safe and sound so you can continue to give us a glimpse of what goes on over there. Your selfless acts never cease to amaze me dude. Keep on keeping on.

No worries... you're toughing it out now, but we'll all throw a huge, nationwide, "Welcome Home Eddie Munster" party in December. Much love for ya buddy! Stay safe!

P.S. Put some more pics up man!!! Like the ab one, ha, you know which one I'm talkin bout. Hehehehehe.

Terri said...

The time will go faster than you think. Marty went over last September and I thought it would take forever before May, and his leave rolled around, but surprisingly it didn't. Now the clock is ticking down quickly to the end of their deployment. Just stay focused, remain positive and let us know if there's anything that you need.

willo said...

Heard about this from my boy this morning. He said it was really crazy. Of course, to hear of these things gives a Mom quite a scare, not only for him, but for all of you.
His leave starts next week, we can't wait to see him. Your change of leave plans makes sense, how nice that you could be home for your b'day and Christmas, etc. Take care of yourself,
a Texas Mom

mamaworecombatboots said...

Eddie,

Just curious. Can't we tell where these are coming from and shoot back? Or it is an issue of civilian residences?

Glad they are such lousy shots and you are managing to stay safe.

Torii said...

Awwww 2 extra months. Ah well , as long as I still get to see you when you're here. haha. Thank God you weren't hurt (or anyone for that matter) in the mortar attack. And I remember Ramadan last year. No fun. Hopefully this year things will be calmer. But if they're not, I know there are soldiers like you to make them be calm ;) haha. Stay safe!

Bag Blog said...

I live abuot an hour from Ft. Sill. When they fire the big guns, it sound like distant thunder here. I can't imgine what it would be like up-close and personal. Stay safe!

Julia said...

Good Gracious. im glad your self.. and i hope for the best that you do get to be home for your bday,christmas && new years.. start the year of right :DD

take care always!!

Richardson Browne said...

Sergeant Watson, i would like to help you get your dog back to Phoenix, let me know,
Richardson Browne