Dispatch From Downrange



Dispatch From Downrange –IRAQ

Mad and his antics. He hates it when I am not paying attention to him.


Just another day, and another senseless act of stupidity.

Last night I was working on the computer catching up with my training records and eating an Oreo cookie, they cost eight dollars a box here by the way.  We have to keep exact records of everything we do as it pertains to the dog and our duties here.  How many vehicles did we search?  Did we find anything?  What did we do for training, and what odors did we train on and were there any issues?  It is all recorded and is open to inspection at any time.

I was just about done for the evening when there was a low rumble and my room sort of vibrated.  This was something I had felt before, and before long, the sirens could be heard heading this way.  I went outside and could smell the acrid smoke floating in the air.  It is different than a normal fire.  You can feel the difference in your throat and nose.  It covers the area like a blanket on a foggy morning.  There was smoke filling the air as it was pretty still, so it didn’t clear out very quickly.  You could see the haze against the various lights.  The smoke made a halo effect around each of them.

I wasn’t the only one outside now.  Several other people were looking to see what had happened or more importantly, where it had happened.  We all knew the what, just not the where.  The alarms did not go off other than the emergency responder’s sirens, so we figured it was nothing that was going to have anything to do with us.

Turns out, outside the wall, about 300 meters away, a car bomb had detonated.  Why?   Who knows, but this is two explosions here in the last few days.  What it does do is bring our mission a little clearer into focus.  If my handlers thought that it would never happen here or they would never find anything because there was no real threat, they think differently now.   That car could have tried to come in the gate.  We feel it didn’t because they know the dogs are here and we will find it.   This does ramp up the “pucker factor” a few notches though.

Within a few minutes, I went back inside and continued updating my records all the while trying to fight off this 80-pound animal and his ball that he constantly drops on my head when I’m typing.  Having a dog with me sure has its perks but sometimes, like right now, he needs to understand that dropping the ball on the keyboard is not a game I like to play as much as he does.

PS.  He also thinks putting a paw on the mouse when I’m trying to do something is great fun.

Just another day in Iraq and another

 Dispatch From Downrange.

Jon Harris


This is a Dispatch from Downrange-Iraq