Monday, March 22, 2010

Phalanx Phollies

Here's another slice of life here that illustrates how fast things can turn from scary to hilarious:
It was lunchtime, and an SUV-load of us was traveling the gravel road toward the mess hall, windows down, enjoying the spring sunshine. I was driving, and as we neared the main PX, I heard the indirect fire alarm go off. I quickly pulled over at a handy roadside bunker, and we all piled out of the SUV...I managed to bonk my noggin on the door frame as I bailed out, and landed flat on the ground in a big poof of dust. When my head cleared, I looked up toward "Strawberry Hill" just as the Phalanx 20mm gatling gun blasted a long stream of bright red tracers skyward. I wasn't the only person entranced by this awesome vision of firepower...a young soldier pedaling a mountain bike, rifle slung across his back, and wearing his kevlar helmet jerked his head up at the Phalanx's distinctive sound (think of Godzilla breaking wind), and managed to run head on into a cement T-Wall. We all laughed when it became clear only the soldier's pride was injured, and also at relief when no mortar rounds or rockets came spiraling in on top of us.
I still have a small bump on my forehead, and a couple of my teammates got skinned forearms from hitting the gravel, but these minor wounds were just the price of admission to a brief moment of combat zone comedy. We were all definitely glad that the comedy wasn't followed by tragedy...unless of course you count the bent bicycle wheel.


  1. Second the coment above but then again, it sounds like a version of "Keystone Cops", especially exiting the vehicle.

  2. Believe me, when ya think there's bad stuff headed your way, the last thing you're worried about is "Style Points"! (Unless you happen to wet your pants...that's a definite "FAIL"!)