It was on a Saturday night, a week before the Fourth of July weekend. I had the TV on, and was catching-up on my e-mail. Right around 9:20p there was a large *BOOM!*, followed immediately by a smaller *boom*. Fireworks a week early? Naw...
I slipped my flip-flops on, and poked my head out my door. Everyone else was, too. Quietly, but quickly, people started making their way towards our local bunker (it's like 3-sided concrete culvert, about 6' square inside, and about 60' long).
Someone said it was a mortar. Seriously? A mortar? But Taji's a SAFE base. Who'd be shooting mortars at us?
The next few minutes were tense, and full of apprehension. We never really did go inside the bunker, but we were ready to.
You should have seen the Army mobilize. They were like ants running around everywhere, rifles blazing. They were doing their job.
After 20 minutes, or so, we got the word that all was clear, and we returned to our CHU's (compartmentalized housing units - trailers). No one slept well the rest of the night, and of course, it was the talk of the base the next day.
The full story came out a few days later - They weren't mortars, but RPG's. They had been fired from one or two Iraqis that had found an opening in one of our 'fortified' outside walls, and had snuck in. They were located almost immediately that same evening. They had in their possession additional weapons, bent on wreaking some havoc.
The things people do on a Saturday night.
Thankfully, no one was hurt, and no damage done. Still, it rattled some nerves.
It served as a much-needed wake-up call for all of us. Complacency isn't good on a military base...in a warzone.
So now vigilance is paramount. The Iraqis are still our friends.
Don't worry, I'm still safe. Please read the post below about our concrete friends, the T-Walls...
Other Taji news...
The food selections have taken a nosedive. The rotisserie chicken man is gone, as is the carving station for the turkey and pork loin. Thankfully, the fruit guy is still serving, but he has been absent a few meals, which has caused some distress.
It's still hot, dry, and dusty, but I won't keep kicking that horse.
Everyone in our office is in vacation mode. A few just returned, a couple return this week, and a number of us are taking off in September and October. For me, parole...I mean, vacation, is less than two months away. :)
I bought a new backpack and a new hat, but they're camouflage, and I can't find them.
All in all, everything's fine. I'm safe, I'm comfortable, and I have a job. That's pretty much like winning the trifecta.
I promise I'll *try* to do better at updating my blog. Next entry will be my first photographic assignment - 'Finding Green in the Desert.' Subsequent posts will be 'I'm Feeling Blue,' and 'I'm Seeing Red.' Might even do 'Don't Be Yella.'
Take care, Everyone. Write, post, send good thoughts.