Sunday, January 07, 2007

What did you do in the war, daddy??


I was once told the difference between a fairy tale and a war story is that the fairy tale starts out “Once upon a time”, while the war story starts out “Now this is no shit…”

Now this is no shit. There I was in undisclosed location in the middle east, sitting on a rough wooden table in front of the GPS (General Purpose Shelter) jawing with a couple of back-seaters when I noticed on odd red streak in the sky.  About the same time I noticed the streak, I heard what sounded like a low powered jet go overcranium.  At first I thought it was an EA-6 taking off, because compared the racket produced by F-4s taking off, the EA-6 made a whussy kind of sound. the lack of deafening roar always made me wonder how the engines on the EA-6 were able to get the airframe and four crew members aloft at all.

That notion that it was a Prowler was soon dispelled by a series of blasts. The first, I found out later, were two patriot missiles launched from directly behind our position going supersonic and then coming out of supersonic speed as they intercepted two scud missiles.  The rest of the blasts were from the destruction of the SCUDs.  The ironic part is that just after the blasts we got the “Alarm Red don hood and mask and gloves” announcement, and  I remember just sitting in the same spot with my mask in its container and the gloved tucked into my belt, figuring the moment had passed.

There were two to three SCUDs depending on who you talked to. One of my local national contacts actually brought me two small melted pieces of metal taken from the impact site. I had though to make them into earrings for my daughter, but she didn’t seem interested.  And that my friends, is about the most fearsome thing that happened to me during Desert Storm, and I am fine with that.

16 Comments:

At 5:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds scary enough to me?

 
At 5:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You were one of the lucky ones...

 
At 5:35 PM, Blogger Keshi said...

gawwwwd ur lucky Phos! God bless ya!

Keshi.

 
At 6:22 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

DAK:The sirens going off were the worst part - I still cringe when I hear a civil defense siren...

Sugarfoot:I was indeed! I was part of something very special and I miss it, by God I do. BTW I enjoy your posts and am keeping up, but don't see anywhere to make a comment...

Keshi: He has blessed me with a wonderful (and very patient) wife and great friends such as yourself.

 
At 7:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

kid, I picture you being this young guy fresh out of the Air Force with your life still ahead of you. In reality you could be my age or close to it. How long have you been out of the Air Force?

 
At 7:47 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

LL:I suspect I am older than you... I first joined in '76, took a break to finish my degree in '82 and then for some unknown reason came back on board in '86. I retired from the Air Force as a Master Sergeant in 2000.

 
At 8:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Judging from the photo, I thought you were going to say: "I used to launch giant penis-shaped rockets into the air!" Glad you made it through okay!

 
At 9:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You could be older than me, but I don't know. I graduated High School in '73. When did you graduate?

 
At 9:08 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

MS: It'd take a lot of enzyte to get one that big.

LL: '71

 
At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! We're both old. I don't look at myself as being old. We're both baby boomers. Oh wow! You probably fought in the Viet Nam war. No you didn't, you joined after that.

 
At 9:46 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

LL: Missed Vietnam, my draft number was 263. I consider myself middle aged, particularly with folks living well into their 80s and 90s. Besides I haven’t had my middle age crisis yet and I’ll be damned if I get any older until I get my turn.

 
At 11:07 PM, Blogger Keshi said...

awww isnt He great :)

Keshi.

 
At 12:58 AM, Anonymous hammer said...

Cool story. I remember back in 91 the media kept saying that the patriot missiles never hit any scuds and they caused more collateral damage than anything else.

I didn't believe them then either.

Glad you didn't get anything more fearsome.

 
At 6:07 AM, Blogger Little Lamb said...

the fact is, kid, you served your country. I like that. You didn't run from your responsibility.

Middle aged crisis? Doesn't sound like fun, but if you insist in having one, go ahead.

 
At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved this story- for a couple of reasons-
1) The lingo makes it authentic- and I swear I could listen to stories like that all day.
2) Your reaction- the honesty- the bits of melted metal turned in to earrings for your daughter- all of it...soildifies who you are (to me) and what you experienced.

You have the mark of good story teller- I'm linking you to my page! :)

 
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