Shot at in Iraq

In 2004 I was deployed to Kirkuk, Iraq as 1st Sgt for the 359 Air Expeditionary Wing. During my time there I was shot at, endured RPG attacks almost daily,and where the siren sounded, wherever I was, I donned the kevlar and vest and jumped to whatever cover I could find, be it a ditch, shelter or whatever. Yet, every day, locals and TCN’s would enter the compound to pick up trash, clean toilets, restrooms and such. They acted friendly enough,mainlybecause they were being watched by an armed guard everywhere they went. But these rattlesnakes were most likely the same ones who reported to their superirs after the end of the duty day of where to fire their rockets next. Though I brought a rifle with me, it was locked up in the supply warehouse and if the proverbal stuff hit the fan, I would be out of luck. Knowing that, I carried a rather large K-Bar knife underneath my uniform everywhere I went. One particular day while making my rounds around the air base, I noticed seeral locals eyeing me in peculiar fashion across the roadway. I was in my assigned my vehicle going around the road that encircled the camp, running next to a barbed wire fence that seperated us from them. That’s when I saw these Iraqi’s, and the look in their eye had the look of blood. Now as luck would have it, I stopped the vehicle to check something along the fence line when I noticed these “snakes” eyeing me. Sensing a possible confrontation, I reached under my uniform shirt for my Ka-Bar, holding it up as in a manner if I wanted to get a closer look and check its’ sharpness. Right then I glanced back at these fine gentlemen at the fence line and everyone of them had disappeared in to brush. I didnt hang around too long myself. But being a police officer in civilian life, I know that one is either prepared or not, that is the eater or the eaten. I’m not saying that Ka-Bar saved my bacon that day, but it sure sent out a stong signal.

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