Rockets Can Be Boring – Episode 3

How soon we forget what it’s like to be a newbie …

May 2007

The new people who arrived last week talk about nothing but the rockets. They discuss in detail whether it’s better to run for a bunker or hunker down. They worry about where the rockets hit, and earnestly wonder what size this or that rocket was: 107mm? 240mm? They recount their personal experience of each round – what they were doing when it hit, what they hid under, exactly how frightened they were or weren’t …

 Although we’re up to about six barrages of incoming each day and one barrage can consist of as many as a dozen rockets, those of us who have been here awhile don’t find it an interesting topic of conversation unless there’s something peculiar or distinct about the attack. For instance: a rocket hit the Norwegian camp over to the northeast of us three nights ago. The 240mm came in through the ceiling of a trailer, exited through the wall, went all the way through a Hesco barrier (1m thick), buried itself under another trailer next door … and never detonated. Sweet! The residents plugged the holes in the trailers with plastic. They left the rocket under the trailer. Why move it? It might explode.        

Here’s what the new people need to know:

  1. All in all it’s probably better to hunker down where you are: the landing point of a rocket is totally random from the receiving point of view. If you choose to scamper and happen to run right into one, though, it would be pretty fucking funny in that ironic-destiny sort of way. You choose.
  2. The rocket didn’t hit anyone (they almost never do). The end.
  3. The little ones sound big when they land fifty meters away. The big ones sound little if they hit the runway. They’re all big enough to kill you so don’t worry about it.
  4. If you weren’t working on that spreadsheet for the PRB, nobody really gives a shit what you were doing when the rockets came in. Get to work.
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