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"Incoming! Incoming! Incoming!"

The klaxon and the announcement came from the speakers about 300 meters away, and when we heard the booms from the rockets a few seconds later, we started to uncrouch.

Which is exactly the time the *second* “Incoming! Incoming! Incoming!” sounded.

This time, from the speakers directly *overhead*.

I thought, “Another one?” and a split second later, I got my answer.

WHITEFLASH-BIGBANG!

I felt a whack, then dust and smoke and cordite stink swirled thick around me and…

Remember those stock scenes from the Industrial Revolution they always show on the History Channel – blast furnaces spraying chunks of hot, glowing metal out and down in a shower of fire?
Imagine that, instead of being outside watching the glowing metal rain, you were *inside* the shower, looking out.

It’s pretty, but a bit unnerving.

I was just taking a mental inventory to see if there was a part of me that hurt *badly* that wasn’t hurting a few seconds ago, and was still mentally checking off “head -- yes” when the *third* “Incoming! Incoming! Incoming!” sounded – again, from directly overhead. I knew I’d never make the bunker, so I just dove for the gravel. I remember thinking, “Way too big for a mortar and way too small for a 122mm – had to be a 107mm.” And feeling smug for having figured that out (I can be incredibly stupid after I've been hit in the head).

After a suitable time had passed – about five seconds – with no subsequent BIGBANG!, my bud Ray and I had the same thought: the rocket hit between the blast wall and the – cripes, we have *friends* in that building!



After we got the door open, we started hollering into the smoke and dust, and a foung female Soldier appeared who was so wide-eyed that I’d never be able to recognize her again.

“Is everyone okay?”

“Yes.”

“Did you check the latrine? It hit right outside that wall.”

“No.”



Ooooooh. This could be bad.

Ray and I walked into the latrine and began calling through the dust-smoke-cordite-stink fog. Opening stall doors, and hoping we wouldn’t find anyone. The last stall door was either jammed or locked, and I think I kinda overreacted.

When I couldn't get it open, I ripped it off the hinges.



Nobody home. Which relieved me immeasurably, because if someone *had* been in there, we couldn’t have torn our shirts into enough pressure bandages to do a damned thing.

And then the adrenaline started to wear off, and now I know exactly what an airplane on autopilot feels like. I did everything *right* for the next two hours, but I have no idea *why* I made the right decisions.

Aftermath.

The rocket – I was right, a 107mm, and yes, I’m still smug about that --



-- hit just on the other side of the blast wall from where Ray and I were, so the fragments that would have shredded us were diverted up, and then came down. We did receive the full benefit of the dynamic overpressure traveling at Mach One, though, and I now have some additional paperwork to stick in my already-overfull Medical Records. And some extra hearing loss – on the plus side, my tinnitus has learned some new tunes...



I got my chimes rung *good*, kids, but my third MACE (Military Acute Concussion Evaluation) consult confirms my brains won’t be dripping out of my ears anytime soon.

I sent Carborundum on CONUS R&R Friday morning to enjoy some see-gars and good, sippin’ bourbon, so if he shows up in your neighborhood, give him whatever he wants and put it on my tab.

Of course, sending him off on vacation is probably why I pulled a farkin' groin muscle diving for the farkin' dirt during this morning’s farkin' “Incoming! Incoming! Incoming!

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Non-combat news from Mudville Gazette on October 24, 2010 9:33 AM

They're still playing Rocket Bingo. I've heard from a couple of sources that the number of attacks increased after 'the last combat brigade" left Iraq. If getting media attention is part of the motivation for that, it won't work.... Read More

50 Comments

Bill, 

   Glad to hear you didn't get it any worse, and that the latrine was empty. I would rather read the AAR's in the Castle blog anytime, as compared to the "official" versions, because the military always leaves out Carborundum and his cohort buddies.
   You and your friends are always in my prayers. Keep you rotors over your head, your shrapnel on the other side of blast walls, and do your post flight analysts in the bar.
   Airborne, All the way, Sir!

Alan
 
Don't ya just hate those echos of incomings past?
 
Yeah -- at least I didn't have to run to the wire to repel a sapper attack.

*hobbles off mumbling about getting too old for this kinda stuff*
 
*whew*  Too farkin' close!  I'm glad no one was in those stalls, and 1000x glad that you weren't seriously hurt, Bill.  You gotta quit bouncing your brain off the inside of your skull. 
 
I'm glad you and your people are okay, Bill. Carbo really can't leave you alone for a minute, can he?
 
Yipes
 
Poor Carborundum - goes on R&R and you know ANGCOM is going to chew him out...

Glad to hear you've still got the luck and reflexes going for you.  Take care!
 
Pogue has it right--here's to endless good luck for you.

Do. Not. Like.This story.  But so glad your enjuries are not too serious.  *big hugs*
 
I did everything *right* for the next two hours, but I have no idea *why* I made the right decisions.

Instinct, muscle memory, warrior spirit... the FNGs are lucky to have you. Excellent report from the field, Bill. Stay safe.
 
Very close, glad you and the others are unharmed. 
 
How typical!  There is chaos and you go looking for women.  Guess your instincts are solid.

Glad you are ok.
 
Damn, Bill, was the latrine functional after the attack?  I know those pipes are only PCV.  
 
Poor Carborundum - goes on R&R and you know ANGCOM is going to chew him out...

Nope. I sent him on R&R the morning *after*. If I hadn't stopped to bum a seegar from Ray, I would've been five feet closer and on the wrong side of the wall.

Guess your instincts are solid.


If they weren't, you'd never have looked at me twice.

Damn, Bill, was the latrine functional after the attack?

The "shiny" on the floor is from the two inches or so of water covering it. I took the pics after EOD finished poking around -- there was only an inch on it when we were stumbling around in there after the boom.

 
DAYUM!

I thought all that nasty fighting stuff was over and it was all tea and crumpets with the locals now.

Tell the rocket guys out in town to knock it off.  Or get some good counterbattery stuff headed back at them.

Are the shooters malcontent local folks, or inspired, aided and abetted by unfriendly neighbors to the east?
 
Great report Bill, thanks,

Best regards,
 
Are the shooters malcontent local folks, or inspired, aided and abetted by unfriendly neighbors to the east?

Yes, to all of the above. Hard-core local leftover Ba'athists that are looking to get back into power. They advertise themselves as "The Naqshbandi Army" and are pretty much making up for the time they lost since 2008 -- got their butts kicked. In 2009, they allied with the AQI that escaped the cordon around Mosul during Operation Lion's Roar in late 2008. AQI gets the weapons from Iran -- that's where the 107s and the timers come from, btw -- and they've switched from targeting the civilians in town to popping at us so they can take credit for "driving the Crusaders out."

They're nasty little cowardly bastards -- most of the civilians they've killed to date have been women and kids.

The cadets want me to take them hunting outside the wire some night...
 
I did everything *right* for the next two hours, but I have no idea *why* I made the right decisions.
 


The benefit of proper training.  When people ask why you keep practicing things way past the point it seems reasonable, well... that's why.

Hope your hearing recovers to no worse than it was, and the new 'tunes' in the tinnitus aren't too distracting.
 
I'm with FbL.  I'm not a fan of this story, except for the part where you're mostly okay.  So, now, I'm going to make a fuss and get working in the kitchen on those treats I mentioned the other day.  I don't have anywhere I need to go today.  So, BOLO for a package...
 
"The cadets want me to take them hunting outside the wire some night..."
  Where are the Tham Sat when ya need em?
 
BillT/

Good Ears--or they were, eh  :)  Only sound I can identify is 122s--a very loud metallic Blaaangg. That's all the bad guys used around DaNang as they couldn't get close enough as a rule (Tet excepting) to use anything shorter range.  Just armor-up the crappers!--would be an unceremonious way to go...    :)     BTW, you ARE too old for that kind of stuff you damned geezer--get back here at the bar with the rest of us Fossils.!
 
My headaches have headaches.  My wings look like lace curtains, and my (uparmored) halo is still vibrating.  I thought it would be easier with Tuttle on the ground, but noooo, that just means I have less altitude to mess with the incoming whatevers.  We got quite good at the mid-air intercepts and deflections back in 'Nam, but a) soggy rice paddys are much better at absorbing detonation energy than rock and sand, b) did I mention the difficulty of low-altitude interceptions? and c) the lingering fumes from the the previous Burrito Bunker explosion don't help either.  I've got the team penciled in for sprint drills for the forseeable future.  And I am thinking of instituting a Thong Squad as well, since it is clear the mere hint of the possibility of the presence of Teh Wimmins will motivate Tuttle *through* a rocket attack.  This has potential.

So, no yelling from ANGCOM beyond the usual (if they don't complain regularly I assume comms are out and call *them*) but no points for elegance or style either.  The job got done, and that's about all you can say.  Now if you mortals will excuse me, I need to shake out the shrapnel from my feathers.
 
@BillT:  *Eh, What did he say?" (I've got a total of "up to 60% in one ear, nothin in the other ear.)  This is a good report. Just a clarification for a dumb old Vet. The R&R for Carborundum, is it because having or being a headache?
 
Good report. Stay safe, Bill.
 
Re-assigning GA Squad to original target.  No sending them back, either!!  This one was too close for comfort.
0>;~}
 
Oy.
Twin... you have got to stop coming in close contact with shrapnel and other carp that can otherwise shred you to pieces.
Sounds like they had pretty good aim this time- and it also sounds like there were no serious injuries, thank GOD and GA's.
 
To close, Glad you are safe. {{Hugs}}}
 
Brilliant, I was exploring for a thing alongside the lines of the. I was considering, do you feel newsletters are even now an means of marketing and advertising online? Does anybody nonetheless use them effectively and truly acquire viewers? [Not the *real* Annabelle - this one's a poseur.]
 
Heh.  *That's* a new form of comment-scammery, swiping a real commenters name (I disabled the link).
 
Well, I guess you chopper guys hafta have something going for you, and its way better to be lucky than good. Sometimes you really can't be fixed. Keep chicking that six sir!
 
Whew.  I am relieved you and your complement are okay.  Be careful and prayers continue to ascend.
 
Thanks, kids -- and a couple of you "not-kids-anymore"...
 
Prayers of thanks on the way from here.  Looks like the one with your name on it will be something like a wrongly-loaded syringe, in a nursing home 20 years hence.
 
They'd have to hit me with four or five trank darts and then duct tape me to a gurney to get me anywhere near a nursing home.

Now, sticking me into a *school* of nursing would be a different matter, altogether...
 
Geeesh! I go off the grid for a couple of days, and KtLW *almost* gets to cash-into some annuities.  Mind you, some day in the distant future, I wish that she gets fat annuities dripping with mirth and honey - Just not now, UnkaBill.
 
Wow. Close call.  Glad you're okay, Bill ... and glad someone else wasn't answering nature's call in the latrine.
 
Reliable sources inform me that the stalls closest to the outer wall in the new female latrine have been *pristine* since they were installed.

Not that I have any empirical evidence to support that report, y'unnerstan...
 
Been there, done that...individual results may vary.
 
 What did I tell you about those guardian angels?  I guess they're still on duty.

Now I'm going to have to go cry for a while.
 
OMG, Bill!!! I am soo glad that you are ok (((((hugs)))))  that was close... ((((hugs))))
Tell Carbo to stop by my place so he can get wasted...
 
I wouldn't put it past Bill to have an idiosyncratic reaction to the trank darts, like Miles Vorkosigan in the latest novel (most excellent, BTW) and turn into a raging berserker.
 
T99! Hiya, Lady! No tears -- what would Mr.T99 say?

If he shows up, Baroness, he's liable to be pretty giddy -- he'll already be half-blasted...
*snerk!*

Jtg -- Why do you think I suggested four or five darts? If I'm gonna go feral, i wanna go there long enough to do serious and permanent damage.
 
Bill, you need to read Monster Hunter Nation by Larry Correia, published by Baen, of course. It has zombies, and werewolves, and vampires, oh my! And guns. Lots of guns, portrayed correctly. It even haa a friendly Orc who has magical helicopter-flying skills with the company Hind. Say, you're not an Orc, are you?
 
Nah, I'm a Chaotic Lawful Dwarf Berserker, or some such.
 
I thought you were a planeswalker of  Elysium, Bill.
 
I am glad you are safe.  As to RPG character, I was thinking Chaotic Good Elf, along the lines of Legolas.
 

Dang... someone stole my commenter identity?  BASSIDS.

Thanks for looking out for me, John!

 
Right actor, wrong movie.  Mr. DeBille is definately Will Turner.  I mean, c'mon, he's writes (and sometimes draws comic strips, although lately he's been rather creative in his excuses and deflections, not that any of us have *noticed* or anything, yanno...) at Castle Argghhh!!!
0>:~}
 
"Deflecting" is a *good* thing.
 
I'm reminded of the time two of my friends were on top of the perimiter bunker smokin a joint.

They should have been down between the bunker and parapet where the rocket landed.

It's all about being where the incomming round ain't.......
 
Saw the link to this post on Big Peace, and it's good to know you and everybody else is all right relatively speaking.