Sunday, October 24, 2004

Another Saturday Night

Another Saturday Night
24 October 2004

Saturday night is my normal night off, so I spent it the usual way. Slept in until about 9:30pm, of course, I didn't go to bed until about 2pm. Got up, went in to check email and call home. Finally about 1:30am or so I went back to the trailer. I've been meaning to watch this DVD that John lent me two months ago, so I finally found the chance to watch it. It is a comedy with Bill Murry situated in London called The Spy That Knew Too Little. Kind of light and easy to watch.

By 04:45am, I'm right at the end where they are on the beach and a huge ba-boom (like the one a couple of weeks back) goes off. Scott and I hit the deck and scramble with our helmets and flak vests while laying low on the floor. He says to me, "You're getting kind of good at this," because I beat him at getting my gear on. I didn't have the heart to tell him that I was already awake, so pulling myself together wasn't quite the project it was if you're just shaken out of bed and trying to arrange yourself...so to speak.

As it is now routine, lay around on the floor for a couple until you're feeling sure there are no more incoming, then get up and poke your heads out of the trailer like gophers on the pairie. As soon as you see the other gophers out, you know the coyote has gone. Looked like the rocket hit in the new trailer area of Freedom Village. No flames that we could see from Dodge South, so we figured that may have been a good indication at this point.

Got into work tonight and was reading msnbc.com and yahoo news and both confirmed the worst. We know now that one was killed and at least one injured. One was a State Department employee here on Camp Victory. This fact was in both write-ups in the news. The injured and the one killed were in the shower trailer when the rocket hit. The rocket landed right next to one of the shower trailers and riddled the side with shrapnel. Our shower and bathroom trailers have concrete blast barriers. I don't know if these did. But even if they did, their trailers sit up higher and you would need 12 foot blast barriers to protect anyone inside from the shower of shrapnel from the impact. Scott had a look at it this afternoon and told me tonight at dinner that the rocket made about a three-foot in diameter impression in the ground and a bit deeper where the tip impacted.

People that live over there said that the impact was enough to knock out the water to the line of the other bathroom and shower trailers in that area. They'll have it back up soon. We don't take a lot of time to lick our wounds around here. It's not that we don't recognize or pay tribute to our losses; just try not to dwell on them too long or too deeply. The mission still has to go on. Be thankful that the runup to our elections aren't as bitter, violent and deceitful.
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