Stood some more post today, imagine that. We took mortar fire again, imagine THAT one. Except today they managed to land three rounds inside Viking. Myself and Piram about peed our pants as they were coming down, they were landing about 65 m from our post but you could still feel the concussion. Two funny stories came from this episode-
1) my buddy Muir had just pulled the chair he was sitting on further inside the Hesco barrier, kicked up his feet, and leaned back to moniter the radio. About 8 seconds later he actually saw the mortar round come down through the air and impact the ground through the gap in the barrier. The blast knocked him off his chair, he did a quick once over- arms, check. legs, check, kidneys, check. family jewels, check. family jewels double check, check.
2) My other buddy Payne was on post as well. This is Brent "Danger" Payne's 3rd tour in Iraq. He has never been wounded. He has recently been considering reenlisting while he is here for another 4 years, it's a decision he's really been struggling with. While we were on post he got called to the COC to discuss his reenlistment package. Before he left he said something to the effect of, "I wish I'd just get a sign from God". On his way back from the COC he was caught in a mortar storm, and probably would have taken shrapnel had he not had a Amphib Track between himself and the impact. Roberts, who he was standing post with, saw him almost get hit as he was walking back, and was calling over the radio hysterically laughing "Payne almost shit himself!!! Payne just shit himself! HAHA" What a good friend.
Four people did end up getting hit in the blast, none of them too serious. One got choppered out because he had shrapnel near some arteries, but he is going to be just fine.
However, once again, the mortar attack got me thinking about these people again. This time, as I was realizing yet again that people are actually actively trying to kill me, I tried to imagine what they look like. Hopefully they're nothing but stains on the sand after we launched counter-fire at them, but I'm talking about what they actually look like. Seriously, there are people out here that for whatever reason, would do anything to kill me, what's this dude/dudes look like?
I asked Piram, who I was standing with, he said he never really thought about it, but after I asked him he said he guessed he pictured a guy in a man dress, wearing sandals, with an AK47. Me? I picture the average Iraqi male, about 20 years old, wearing a cheap, knock off track suit. Probably has a mustache, average height, average build. Does it matter? Well, aside from it helping us find him, not really. But it's really hard to wrap your mind around the thought that someone is trying to take your life, and most of the time you simply refer to them as insurgents, maybe terrorists, maybe you call them the Mujj or al Qaeda, but they never have a face. It's as if they have a blank spot where their face should be, because surely no one wants to kill ME. But they do, and that person has a face, he has a name, he has a history, maybe he has a family. He probably has daddy issues from his younger years. I don't know, but he's real, and hopefully today our counter fire killed him.