Friday, December 12, 2008


The Afghans can be a little trigger-happy. If rounds are flying anywhere in the valley they’ll start shooting at the place everyone else is shooting, regardless of whether they can see anyone or not. To celebrate a religious holiday the other day they shot off most of our inventory of tracers, creating our own little light show, and of course the other local Afghan units, hearing and seeing what our guys were up to, chimed in creating that cacophony of Russian-made machine guns I’m getting to know so well. Anyway, I awoke in the middle of the night last night to find the ground shaking a bit. This was not the first time I’ve felt the ground shake in a combat zone, but usually the shaking is accompanied by an explosion. I didn’t hear anything, so I was a bit confused for a few seconds. As I groggily contemplated the significance of this event, the local unit on the radio concluded it was an earthquake. Forgetting the marine standing post had his own radio, I went out to relay the news to him and he replied dryly, “Yeah, earthquake, I know; I had to convince the Afghans not to shoot back.”

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