We went to the same range today, initially with the intent of ripping that bad boy down and getting off of work early. Instead, turns out my platoon finally got a chance to run through the exercise. We ran through it, team by team, the teams consisting of 4 or 5 guys.
For the first iteration, we went "dry fire", which meant that we were just yelling "Bang bang", because that scares the enemy when you pretend to shoot him. Bang bang. I got you! "No you didnt!" MOM!!! Lots of running and diving into the prone and shouting and attempting to discern what the hell everyone was doing.
Next was the blank fire, which means that we had 3 magazines, 90 rounds total, of blank ammunition for our magically delicious M4A1 Assault Rifles of Doom. Once again, my team of miscreants fresh out of AIT kicked ass and didn't bother with the names. We were all dirty and sweaty and breathing hard from jumping up from the ground, bounding, and diving back onto our faces to shoot popup targets. All went well, as far as I knew. Shoot shoot shoot, reload, run, drop, shoot, yell, grunt, groan, thank god training actually means something today.
What I WASN'T aware of, was that the new guy in our platoon was suffering from the fogging of his eye protection, which are neat army issue sunglasses/goggles. The kind of thing a painter or sheetrocker who was fashion conscious but not informed regarding current trends would wear. Slightly retro. Rather than pausing in the prone to take his non firing hand off of his badass weapon and I dunno, maybe wipe off his glasses, he decided to shoot blind. Somehow along the lines of our action packed trek through the woods, battling for life against heavily armed silhouette targets, this fella bounded and got down once again, and assumed that he was shooting in the right direction.
A drill sergeant will kill yo' ass if you say that you "assumed" anything. Assuming the sun will rise tomorrow? Heh, you are done for, cowboy.
In all reality, from what I was told afterwards, his boom-stick was oriented directly at me. And APPARENTLY, he was spamming his trigger like a badly injured hospital patient mashing the button for his morphine drip.
I wasn't too fazed about that. It wasn't until people were asking me if I was comfortable with doing the same thing, only live fire next. That type of question will sometimes get one's wheels spinning, just a tiny bit. I sucked a trusty Marlboro Light down very quickly and tossed a kevlar plate in the back of my body armor, grabbed 3 magazines of live ammo, and trotted over to the start point. Seems someone important still loves me, so I'm here to regurgitate my boring life one keystroke at a time.
And another thing, I forgot to put in my earplugs, so my ears are still ringing. Feels like I came back from a Mudvayne concert or something. Gwar even. Either that, or I've got a tuning fork in both ears. Stop the madness.
This has been a week in Ryan.