While I was deployed to Iraq between February 2009 through January 2010, I was stationed at some of the remote Joint Security Stations in the Baghdad area such as Sadr City, Ur, and War Eagle.Our Battalion was at several more outposts which I would be a part of because I was responsible for the medical support. While I was at JSS Ur, this was where our Forward Aid Station (FAS) was located. The United States were in the process of closing down several of our JSS positions including Sadr City where I had our Main Aid Station (MAS) located. So, for a time, I had most of my Medics located at JSS UR.
It was during this time, while at JSS UR, I was at our Platoon Sergeant meeting planning our upcoming events. Ordinarily, the Company Commander, the First Sergeant, the Platoon Leaders, and the Platoon Sergeants will come together with their piece of the pie. You have the Scouts, the Mortars, the Medics, the Cooks, S-1, S-2, S-3 and Maintenance.
You have your usual participants. This particular day as we were in the middle of our meeting, off in the distance there was an explosion, we all kind of looked at each other. Then moments later, there was another explosion much closer and it became clear that someone was trying to land a mortar into our JSS.
What a scene this was as there was chaos. The explosion was so loud and the blast caused much confusion.
As I saw this happening in front of me, I instinctively went down to my right knee as there was little time to do anything else.
I took a few moments gathering myself when I began checking on everyone. I quickly went outside to check for anyone who might have been hit by shrapnel.
On this day we were very fortunate as nobody was hurt. There were some who were shaken up by the power of the blast. It shook me as my back was towards the blast.
In this environment, things can change very quickly. This is the way it is, but today, I just want to reiterate the importance that when you start off your day, leave a blessing when you part with your loved ones, family members, your friends.
You never know from one minute to the next what can happen. It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
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