Monday, January 03, 2005

Life at Victory Gets “Interesting”

Life at Victory Gets “Interesting”

03 January 2005

Haven’t been doing much writing because there hasn’t really been much to write about. Christmas and New Year’s past with such quiet and stealth, I can hardly believe it’s all over now. The natives have been relatively quiet here up until New Year’s Day. Since then, we have been hearing more and more mortars and rockets.

On New Year’s Day, one of the guys that I work with in Building 7 was over at the Haji shop by Lost Lake looking to buy some (rampantly pirated) DVD’s. In the Haji shop were a few soldiers doing the same. Gene said that out of nowhere, they heard the “whoosh” of a rocket pass overhead. Next thing you know, Gene is getting tackled to the floor by a little 5’3” female specialist as the rocket explodes about 500 yards from where they are.

Everyone had hit the deck including the guy behind the counter. As they’re brushing off the dust and dirt from their clothes, the guy behind the counter is apologizing for the dust in the store. This is kind of comical, because with all the dirt, dust and mud around here, there isn’t any corner of this blasted country that isn’t dust-covered. But honestly, I think that Gene is in love. Anyone that can tackle you to the ground and protect you from incoming rockets as quickly as she did is a keeper. His eyes seem to twinkle whenever he gets the chance to tell the story.

Yesterday was pretty noisy out too. I think it was about 10am on the 2nd we must have heard about 18 booms in succession at one point. They were outgoing, but just the intensity, timing and the number of them were impressive. This morning I stayed up and watched a movie until about 11am. At about 10:30am, seems like all the action started. I’m sure that there were no fewer than 60 explosions per hour going off for about 2-1/2 hours. You might here a boom-boom-boom, then two minutes later another boom-boom. It just never seemed to let up.

We are hearing that over the last two days, most of the noise has been outgoing, but there was without doubt enough of those booms that were incoming. By the time I tried to go to sleep, I was too wound up to relax and fall asleep. At one point when I was trying to go to sleep, I actually put on the flak vest and helmet and lay down under the covers trying to fall asleep. It wasn’t too comfortable, but at this point, I’ve come too far to getting home to shrug off a bit of extra protection. So tonight I am running on about four hours of sleep. Hopefully, I’ll sleep better tomorrow.

At midnight chow tonight, Gene and Ron and Eve(from the RSC) were talking about all the noise today. Eve says, “Oh, I fell right to sleep at 8:30 and didn’t wake up until 6pm.” Ron and I were dumbfounded. “How the heck did you sleep through all that?” Eve couldn’t believe that there was that much going on today. That’s when I said it was pretty interesting today. Eve looks at me in such a straight face and says, “Looking at and buying oriental carpets is ‘interesting’. Incoming and outgoing mortars and rockets is not ‘interesting’.” Well then, what does one call a two to three hour encounter of incoming and outgoing mortars and such? Dangerous, different, window-rattling, wall-shaking, loud, intrusive, magical, sleep-depriving? Putting this event into the perspective of this whole dustbowl/armpit of a place, I’ll consider it interesting…maybe for lack of any other description at this point of my stay here.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?