Postcards from Tradocia

more than just a job

While at the close-quarters combat range on Tuesday, I had a sudden realization: normal people don’t go running through buildings with automatic rifles and pop off live rounds just feet from each others’ heads.

Truth be told, I didn’t give it a second thought – at the time, it seemed perfectly natural to line up butt-to-nut with three other guys against a wall, then rush around the corner in close succession, engaging targets at close range as we did so. But as I walked away from the shoothouse, sweaty and sore, I looked around: under the low rolling clouds two four-man teams were each clearing the half-wall house with blanks – pop pop pop “one clear! two clear! three clear! four clear!” – while another practiced on the full-height house with no ammo. A tingle ran down my spine and it hit me: this is the real deal.

Maybe that’s why I can write about all this with such lucidity. It’s almost like an out-of-body experience – I’m just an observer to this whole situation, yet I’m living it simultaneously.

3 Comments

  1. Kelly Hemenway

    Thanks Alex for the links, It is a confusing array of information out there. Keep your chin up, this will all fade away eventually, too much media! Cant really find the whole story. Appreciate your Blog, thank you for continuing to be out there with your experiences and views.

  2. cindy

    Wow- I guess I will just read blogs for up to the minute news. Yesterday I sent an email to an editor at the Startribune after checking their website for coverage about Nick Berg. Their headline read: “Beheaded American was told to leave Iraq.” Their coverage was unbelievable as usual. I told them I thought that it implied that Berg was responsible for his own
    demise and that instead, the paper might want to tell their readers that there were evil people killing innocent Americans.
    This was his reply:
    I’m not sure I understand what you find unbelievable about the headline.
    It says EXACTLY what the first paragraph of the story says. And all the story says it that, like many Americans, Nick Berg was warned that it
    was unsafe to be an American in Iraq right now and was told it was in his best interests to leave. He chose not to.
    Hope that helps.
    Dennis Buster
    news editor
    startribune.com

    He obviously thought I meant the headline was unbelievable rather than their coverage!
    Stay safe.

  3. Mom and Dad

    Alex – thanks for this posting.

    It’s encouraging in the face of the prison abuse scandal.

    Love, Dad

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