A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a little about “fobbits.” I won’t rehash the term since I just linked it, but I want to talk about the “fobbit mentality.”
There is a distinctive difference between the fobbit who has been outside the wire and experienced the realities of war and a fobbit who will earn their combat patch having never left the wire. Among the former group, there are two additional sub-groups – those that still recognize that even though they will never leave the wire they are still in a combat zone and those that think they live in a bubble and that nothing can touch them on the FOB (forward operating base). I’m going to talk about an exchange I had with a member of the latter sub-group I just described.
Last night, Kandahar Airfield came under rocket attack at approximately 20:21. I know because I write every rocket attack and “all clear” in my journal. There are processes and procedures that are supposed to take place when an attack happens. I won’t go into the details, but the obvious response is to seek shelter in a nearby bunker. That’s exactly what I did last night, but apparently it’s a novel concept where I work since there was only one other person in the bunker with me.
As we waiting out the attack, a few of my Soldiers drove up to our nearby building and joined me in the bunker. Every now and then, I’d spot someone walking lackadaisically towards the latrine. That’s fine. I have no problem with someone risking their lives to cleanse their bowels and bladders before facing potential underwear altering events! Sometimes it’s better to just be a mangled, bloody mess than a mangled, bloody mess and have a mess in your pants.
However, when the Soldiers left the porta-potty, they would begin walking back to their buildings. Keep in mind that KAF is a large base. Just because the entire base is under a rocket attack doesn’t mean it’s anywhere nearby. It’s possible to be under a rocket attack and never even hear the explosion of the impacts. Then again, the rounds lobbed over the perimeter could be duds and we just got lucky. But, it doesn’t matter. When the siren sounds, Soldiers are to take particular steps to protect themselves and their troops.
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