When That “Aw Sh**…” Moment Comes

We’ve all had them, the time when something happens and throws a normal routine day into complete turmoil.  Personally, I’m not a big fan.  At best they’re annoying when they happen in everyday life; at the other extreme, they can turn deadly when they happen in a war zone.  Our project will depict one of those moments that actually happened during one of my tours, the town will be one of those countless little Iraqi towns units I was with passed through during my tours there.  I’m not planning to depict any specific events or days, this is more an amalgam taking buildings from one tour, events from another and combing them to show what it was like.  These things happened on an almost daily basis.  Some kids liked us, some hated us, some were afraid of us, and then there were those who saw us as a source of American dollars (or as they pronounced it doolahs); those were the young entrepreneurs who would turn up within minutes of us halting, toting coolers as big as they were hawking “Pesi, Coke, Icy Cream, Mister!”.  God only knows how they knew where and when to be there, but they did and in 120 degree heat a cold Coke goes down really nice.

We’re going to revisit an “Aw sh**!” moment from 15 years ago in a little town located in what eventually became part of The Triangle of Death.  It wasn’t exactly safe when we were there in 2003, but it was by no means as bad as it eventually became reputed.  Route Sue was but one of many roads we were tasked with patrolling for security on the road to Baghdad.

As with all projects, we begin with a vision of what you want to show in the end.  The actual incident took place over a period of days, which would be impossible to depict.  My platoon was on a 1 day patrolling, 1 day QRF, 1 day off rotation.  Which entails compressing time – compromise #1.  The kid that precipitated the whole incident was probably 9 or 10 at the oldest.  Not many figures of kids throwing rocks in that age group in 1/35 scale, so we go a bit older – compromise #2.