Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Getting in Touch with My Feminine Side

Okay, it's a cheeky title for a serious post (pun intended). I've already been accused by Adam at Low Tech Combat of androgyny, or something akin to it. Probably because I don't say "fuck" enough. There's been a dearth of posts on this site the last week or so because I've been enjoying being with the family, reveling in being home, and despite posts to the contrary, going out of my way to not think deep thoughts. Too, I don't want to get charged with BUI, and sober moments have been pleasantly few and far between.
So on Friday last, I was working out (practicing agility and kinesthetic precision by poring beer over corn flakes) when the Boss' Lady called from work, saying that she'd gotten a text from a friend saying, in effect, BM is home right? He wasn't in Mosul for that latest attack?
Damn. I pulled up Google news on Mosul and saw that there was an attack on "a National Police Headquarters located in Southwest Mosul" that killed 5 US troops and 2 INP, with 17 more wounded.
Now I am, for lack of a better term, shitting bricks.
I pulled up my Army e-mail account to send out a frantic call for "SITREP!!" and already had an e-mail from Top saying "we're all good to go, weren't there when the SVBIED detonated." The attack was, though, on our NP HQ, where we work pretty much every day. The damage caused by one SVBIED truck loaded with (we think) 10K lbs. of explosive is extensive. Buildings we work in every day were dropped, hard broke. Buildings that were still standing all suffered some pretty extensive damage. 9 vehicles (to include Iraqi armored Humvees) were totally destroyed.
Again, all the Mungadai were okay. But for a short span of about three minutes I was exposed to the terrible fear and anxiety that Army wives (typified by the exemplary Mungababes) go through for a whole year. And it sucked.
I've spent more than my fair share of time sitting in Command Posts and Operations Centers huddled over a radio, trying to keep the fog of war at bay while the on-scene Commander works to resolve the situation. Countless times on this current deployment, I've been around the corner or up the street from an explosive or small arms attack, deliberating do we move to the sound of the guns? Or stand by ready to support while it works itself out? But the stress generated by sitting in a comfy stateside abode, with no immediate threat but no situational awareness of what was happening downrange was worse to a degree that can only be described as geometrically superordinate. And I was once again humbled by what Army wives deal with on top of the bills, the kids (sports, grades, church schooling, band, peer pressures) the pets, the homestead maintenance, the vehicle maintenance, the Tri-care negotiations, and extreme climactic events--take your pick: hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, etc.
Enduring that for a whole year? Instead of three or four minutes? Nah. I'd rather get shot at and blowed up, thanks very much.

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