31 August 2011

10 rocket attacks, 1 day

This morning you probably heard your alarm, pressed snooze and then eventually crawled out of bed and began your morning.

This morning I awoke to the jarring sound of a rocket attack alarm, jumped to lay flat on the floor with my hands over my head and stayed there for my 2 minute snooze until I could get up to hurriedly make my way to the bunker.  After the 6 alarms went off, I stood there for about an hour.  Then we got the "all clear," and I made my way back inside to start my morning and get ready for work.

Tonight after work you maybe worked out, grabbed a bite to eat, and watched some tv. 

Tonight after work on my way to the gym, a rocket attack alarm blared as we heard the impact of it hit base somewhere very nearby, my coworker slammed on our van brakes and flew in reverse to “park” our van in the middle of the road as we jumped out to race to the bunker at the corner we heard another explosion.  Upon entering the bunker I reacted with a, “Holy sh*t” as yet another explosion pierced through the sky and shook the ground below us making the rocket feel closer than I’ve ever experienced in a year, and then there was one more thud to follow. 

10 rocket attacks, 1 day.

Obviously, I am safe and sound and so are all my friends out here, and this is not a "usual" day.  Also, I am fully aware I knew where I signed up to work and I don't want you to think I'm complaining; I wanted to rather explain.  With the end of Ramadan, the Taliban now have full bellies to complement their full souls of hatred making this week thus far particularly violent.  

I still went and did my job after the morning attacks.  I still got smoothies with my friends after the night ones.  That’s life out here.  You adapt to a “new normal.”  We’re the USO.  Their terror has no home here.

And we make each other laugh, because if you didn’t, you might just cry.

Judging by Facebook status updates and news stories in the past few weeks people in the states were scared...as they should be.  Mother Nature was attacking them with earthquakes, hurricanes and floods.    I watched interviews where residents said they were terrified thinking that a decision made in just one moment could make them lose it all.  I couldn't help but think that's horrible... but try feeling that for 365 days. 

That’s how long a soldier is fighting a fight out here, so you will hopefully never have to feel that kind of manmade terror back home ever again.

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