is back in the world. I'd held off before because of the possibility of someone who'd worry too much reading it, so here goes:
Couple of months before his unit rotated out of Iraq I was driving down the street when the phone went off. Usual procedure is to see who it is and call back; I HATE people rolling down the road with a phone in their ear, ignoring all around them. However, the prefix indicated it was the son so I went ahead and answered while looking for a way to get out of traffic.
"Hi, how's things in your part of the world?"
"I no longer have a truck."
Wha? He'd left it at my place while he was gone, so "What the hell? It's in the drivew-"
"No, my truck here."
"Oh." Pause. "What happened to it?"
"It blew up."
Well, he was obviously not missing any parts or suffering other nasty after-effects, so, "How did that happen?" I still can't get out of the road, either.
Turned out they were rolling along on a patrol when he, up in the cupola, felt 'like being whapped with a hot, heavy blanket' and the MRAP stopped. First thought "Bleep!" and look for bad guys popping out of the rocks. No bad guys. Everybody gets out, other vehicles already have people on foot checking around.
According to the EOD guy, they'd rolled across a mine that had been there for at least a month from the look of things. The left front wheel was gone, suspension mostly gone or converted into the fragments that trashed the engine and transmission. Total injuries: one guy inside who'd been taking a nap with his helmet off banged his head on the "Ow! Shit!" level.
While getting a tow rigged, they checked the whole area. They found an eighty-pound piece of the run-flat tire 200 meters away. The really odd find was the convex mirror from the left-front fender: 50 meters away, bracket gone, frame gone, and not a mark on the mirror. Which the LT grabbed, announcing "This is going in a frame on the wall."
By this time I was so close to where I was going I just finished the drive. He didn't even notice a 'bang', not even a scratch from it, all's well and we're getting a new vehicle. Got caught up, and I informed him that he could tell Grandma & Grandpa about this himself after he got home; I sure as hell wasn't going to.
I know there were various bits of unpleasantness gone through in his tour, but that's the only one he really talked about; he ever feels the need to talk about others, he knows I'm here.
Once before he'd talked about the MRAP; the verdict was 'big, heavy, doesn't handle real well, but it'll do 80 on a straight and it's armored out the wazoo'. Which he now had personal evidence of.