Thursday, March 01, 2007

Well, It IS a Combat Zone

Well, last night was interesting.

I took two of our Soldiers over to the our PAX Terminal around 2130 (9:30 p.m. for those who don't know the 24-hour clock) so they could start heading home for their 15 day R&R. Soldiers can take a shuttle bus, but I try to be available to guys and girls who would rather go in my humvee; after all there is a lot of gear involved since we must travel with body armor, helmets, plus whatever we're taking home. I dropped them off, wished them well, and headed out to go back to the West Side and grab something from Burger King since I hadn't eaten yet. As I exited the parking area onto the loop road that would lead me back to my hootch I heard a loud whirring and chattering sound and thought, "Heavens to Betsy, something's wrong with the Humvee, I hope I can make it back to the other side." OK, maybe that wasn't exactly what I said, but the gist is the same. Then there was the explosion. "Heavens to Betsy, that was close!" I thought. Then I heard the whirring again, only louder. "Okay, louder means closer, that can't be good". Another "whump!" and I felt another concussion. I hunkered down over the steering wheel until I thought, "This is a soft sided humvee; hunkering down is not going to do much good!" Then the C-RAM ( goes off and I'm watching red tracers going downrange over my humvee. "Let's see, speed limit's 20? (It was a construction zone) FORGET THAT!" I floored it (as if you can floor a humvee that runs on JP-8 and does zero to sixty in ninety minutes) and got the heck out of there. There were about 8-9 impacts behind and around me and I felt each one. I drove through clouds of debris, prayed I was still on the road, and remembered my training to get out of the kill zone as quickly as possible; or as we put it "Drive it like you stole it!"

I did manage to stop by Burger King and got a whopper.

A few hours before the attack I had spoken with my bishop, Lindsey Davis, by phone and he had prayed with me. Coincidence? Anyway, I'm listening a little more closely to the bishop - he's got some good connections!

By the way - they killed the bad guys.


At 8:03 AM, Blogger Mitch said...

Heavens to Betsy, Jim.

Glad to hear of your safety.

War does tend to make the heart race.

Your service matters. Keep heart and stay safe.

Dominus vobiscum.

At 12:14 PM, Blogger rocksalive777 said...

Psalm 91 in action.

At 3:03 PM, Blogger John Meunier said...

Thank God you were not heart. Thank you for the story.

I can't help but chuckle at the line about stopping for a Whopper.

It just strikes me as a funny commentary on how "normal" in Iraq is so different for normal back home.

If I got shot at on the way home, for instance, I would have gotten two Whoppers. (bad joke)


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