Topic: Scary Stuff
Last night, about every hour or so I heard small gunfights erupt at the nearby checkpoints and across the river. It would start off with small arms fire and eventually the firefights would escalate. After the US military started responding with 50 caliber machine guns, the bad guys would give up.
A little after 10pm, as I was sitting around a fire with about ten friends, the sound of gun fire began to ring out through the night air. In less than a minute, I began to see tracers
filling the night sky. At that moment, I saw a red tracer coming from the other side of river fly toward my compound. As I saw it fly over my head, one of my buddies shouted out an expletive. I leap up from my chair and shouted, "Everyone run for the house!" My house was a short ten second sprint from the fire.
Four people ran into my house. Two leapt behind a nearby concrete wall. Two other dashed off to another house. At least one hid behind the backside of a house. I don’t know where everyone else went. From our various hiding places, we all took occasional glances at the night sky. For twenty minutes, the sky was filled red and the occasional green tracer. It reminded me of watching a distant fireworks show or the grainy green images from the first Gulf War of the Iraqi military trying to protect itself from the American air campaign against Baghdad.
As soon as I reached the safety of my concrete house, I reached for my radio and called up my compound’s security officer to let him know that a few rounds had landed inside my compound. We had seen tracers flying toward us, and someone told me that they heard the pinging sound of rounds hop-skipping off the concrete. My security officer calmly advised everyone to stay indoors and away from windows. He told us the 20 minute barrage of bullets began due to soccer game. I know that the Iraqis like "celebratory fire," but I had never seen anything that excessive in my 11 months in Iraq.
Toward the end of the firefight, I decided to buck up the spirits of my friends tapped outside by blaring Wagner's "Flight of the Valkyries" and the Rolling Stone's "Paint it Black" on loud speaker outside my house. As soon as they heard it, they shouted, "Turn it up!"
Posted by alohafromtim
at 11:46 PM EST
Updated: December 10, 2005 11:55 PM EST