The day after we arrived, we split teams and sent a forward party to our team house in Samarra, while the rest of us, myself included, stayed behind at Forward Operating Base Balad. I’ll tell stories about that hell hole some other time. Our forward party was welcomed promptly by incoming Katyusha rockets. Fortunately, none of them were accurate enough to cause any damage… except the one that landed right between where our vehicles were parked and the entrance to the compound as our guys were offloading equipment from the vehicles.
Thanks only to what must have been a miracle, the rocket did not detonate. Instead, it stuck in the asphalt like a damned lawn dart. Someone has pictures somewhere, I promise. One of my teammates was even feeling froggy enough to throw rocks at it from behind a t-barrier while they waited for Explosive Ordnance Disposal to arrive. Being trained in unexploded ordnance, I would have advised strongly against that, but I wasn’t there yet. But the thought probably would have passed my mind. Hell, I would have been throwing rocks too. Anyway, bottom line: Samarra was a hot spot when we arrived. Prime hunting territory.
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