…………Air Assault mission in a Mogadishu suburb at night, January, 1993…….names edited for excerpt…………..
I proceeded to remove the trigger mechanism from the gun and frantically tried to get the tiny spring that was between me and my removing the trigger lock. Sgt. J-Dub began maneuvering the squad, bringing a fire team online in the direction the initial fire had come from.
“Let’s flank these motherfuckers!” SSG F yelled as fire began to be returned from two additional directions. Except the fire was also being returned at us by our own company, not just the Somalis that had originally fired on us.
“You might want to wait until I get the 60 back together!” I yelled back just as I felt the tiny spring from the trigger lock hit the palm of my hand.
“You have a 9mm, don’t you??” SSG. F replied.
“I’m not flanking shit with a 9mm! And I only have 3 fucking rounds left in it! That’s enough for me, you and Spaceboy to kill ourselves if we get overrun!” I screamed back as someone opened up in our direction with a SAW and I finished putting the trigger mechanism back together.
We were now caught in a good old crossfire, from three different directions. The rounds were so close, we were getting dirt flung into our faces. One direction was our Somali welcoming party; the other two directions were “friendly fire”.
There is a saying in the military: there is no such thing a friendly fire. There is just fire.
Though we’d already taken fire half a dozen times since arriving in December, this was different. The volume of fire was overwhelming. For a split second, the thought of dying, or maybe it was just the feeling of possibly dying, crossed my mind.
Our situation wasn’t improving.
To make matters exponentially worse, a Cobra attack helicopter swooped by and circled back toward our direction. As it began its approach, a long stream of tracer rounds ripped just a few meters in front of it (probably appeared closer than it was as I could barely make out the helicopter).
When it became apparent that this helicopter was on a target run, I rolled over on my back and grabbed the IR light from the helmet band on my Kevlar, and held it toward the sky……
Excerpt from “The Baptism” in “Behind the Gun”
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