Episode 2: A Veteran’s View

Read Episode 1 Episode 1: Through A Veteran’s View….5 Minutes of War

5 Minutes of Survival

The alarm is so annoying, I would love to sleep in just one day! I mean 4 months into this, waking up every single morning, just to submit one report by 6:30 is a pain in the ass. It is what it is.

After walking into the office and sending the report, I am going to get some of that coffee, finally someone sent us some Starbucks coffee. It sucks being deployed and not even getting any coffee. When you do get some though, man is it great. Just a few seconds of home, great feeling.

As I am walking into the main control room to the coffee pot, I hear an explosion.

“Damn, the mortars are not supposed to start until 8”

As I pour the coffee, I someone says that it landed pretty short. I turn around and look on the screen, trying to see what they are talking about. There is a cloud of dust slowly disappearing right in front of post 3.

“Call the mortars, tell them they had a short round. Hurry, before they start laying more down”!

As I look up, and see one of the guys from mortars standing in the room with us, and hear 2 more explosions. Something isn’t right, the sound doesn’t fit with my memory. I mean, it has been years since my last enemy mortar attack, but something is vaguely familiar, in an instant.


As I run outside to start yelling, I hear the siren going off, with more explosions. They are coming from all directions. No rhyme or reason, just sporadic and everywhere. I start to run from tent to tent, worrying about the day sleepers and those that may still be unsure about what is happening.

“Get to the bunkers, now”

I grab two people and throw them towards the bunkers, people running everywhere. Another person jumps in and helps directing people. We run from tent to tent slamming open the doors and yelling at people to get out. If they stay in the tents, there is nothing to protect them.

More explosions, coming down like rain drops. Some are farther away, some are close. All I can think about is someone getting hurt. Then it stops!

As I run back into the command center, there is destruction on the camera. An entire tent gone, hopefully empty and nothing but gear. Accountability, begins. Eventually we are missing a name, so time to search.

After 20 minutes, he is found. He is in the bunker by the showers, finding the nearest shelter when the attack begins. No wounded, everyone is accounted for. Just another day, time to clean up. I can only think about one thing…

Time for more coffee!

Sharing is great, understanding is better. Allowing others to hear your point of view, and what goes on in your head can be helpful. I mean who thinks about a cup of coffee at a time like this. Well, we do. Those that have been through this time and time again, and understand that there is nothing you can do, and if it’s your time, then it’s your time. Those that have lived the nightmares, and seen things that make the movies look like a cartoon show. Those that have done more sweating than most, shed more bled that sweat, and cried more tears than bled. The select few, the ones that remember, the ones that will never forget, and the ones that will always be thankful for that sweet cup of coffee.

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2 Replies to “Episode 2: A Veteran’s View”

  1. Once again, your writing style has made your experience more real than anything else I’ve read. Yes, there is power and healing in sharing, and I don’t think I’ll ever take another cup of coffee for granted! 😊 Keep up the great work!

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