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  • Ta-da!

    I have had many "roles" throughout my life. I've been a student, a parent, a wife, a babysitter, a safety chief, a paperwork shuffler, a volunteer, a lunch lady....

    Today I got to be something few Americans get to try: freaked-out civilian caught in a war zone fire fight.

    My local military establishment is conducting a training exercise this week. I've experienced these before, and they've been nothing special. Today, however, was different.

    Shortly after I entered the base, I was directed to follow an impromptu detour by a person in costume. Eventually, I made my way to an intersection, blindly following the cars in front of me. I thought they knew where they were going.

    I found myself with a second-row view of a mock fire fight between "us" and "them." I was absolutely panicked at first--I didn't realize right away it was an act. There was no one directing the civilians wandering the base, and I had also never read any directive on how to act during these exercises. It finally occurred to me that they were firing blanks, but that still didn't take the edge off my panic.

    I now have a deeper understanding of how warfare can affect civilians, of how terrifying it can be for them. I also have a better grasp of just how difficult it is for our soldiers to maintain control of an area, since civilians can and often do behave irrationally and unexpectedly.

    1 comment:

    Beav said...

    Wow. That's pretty cool. I don't think I've ever heard of something like that happening. Perhaps it's something they're trying to more accurately reflect the new realities of modern warfare.