This post is authored by Katheryn Wolfe, an American Red Cross worker serving troops in Balad, Iraq.
Learning how to operate the essentials at Fort Benning, just in case.
Thanks to my teammate Neelum for taking these photos!
Ironic as it sounds, there are days here that seem like we are just on a regular base. In talking with service members, many feel the same way. But then there are reminders. LOUD reminders. Last week, I had probably been asleep for two hours or so when I heard a large drilling noise. It seemed like someone was literally on top of my roof using an electric drill. My first reaction was to get up out of bed, and check my roof. Nothing. I was dumbfounded.
Later that day I consulted my teammate,Neelum, who lives right next door, about the noise. She had heard the same noise. Someone was kind enough to inform us that what we had heard was a weapon intended to intercept anything that is fired in our direction. My brother equates it to a fire breathing dragon. Wright, one of our volunteers told us to check the sky the next time we heard the noise, and there would be a firework show quick to follow.
There are other reminders as well. An intercom system relaying the messages of indirect fire. And helicopters flying over and making your whole chu vibrate. Lucky for us though, my flak jacket and helmet are gathering a bit of dust, as these types of things don’t happen too frequently.