Names have been changed because of security rules.
It was our fifth night of tower guard. So far the week had been pretty quiet. A few nights before an Afghan National Army soldier had accidentally fired off a burst of rounds inside the FOB. We usually don't expect gunfire from inside the wire but once we found out it was an accident we relaxed. Night fell.
My guard buddy Gurd and I sat, taking turns scanning the village in front of us with our night vision goggles. Everything is dark green through night vision. Then as soon as you take them off it is pitch black. The radio cackled,
"S.O.G.(Sergeant of Guard) this is tower five, over."
"Tower five this is S.O.G, go ahead."
"S.O.G. we just saw a three round burst of tracer fire in the sky."
Gunfire wasn't common at night, but it wasn't uncommon either. We didn't think much of it.
Gurd and I were watching and laughing about something when we heard two distant bursts of machine gun fire. I grabbed the radio.
"S.O.G. this is tower one, we just heard several rounds fired over a mile away at our 10 o' clock over."
"Tower one this is S.O.G. roger that keep me informed. S.O.G. out."
I sat on the bench with my night vision as Gurd rested on the stained, beat up cot behind me. After midnight we had to take turns so we wouldn't both fall alseep around 3AM.
The radio battery was starting to go. It would beep incessantly the worse it got. I should call the S.O.G. for a new one I thought to myself. My train of thought continued until it was derailed by a gunshot that rang out very close,
In a split second I visualized a rifle round coming into my tower and hitting me in my gigantic melon. I dropped out of my chair and got below the tower window.
KRACK! A second shot, yes that is definitely nearby.
"That was close, very close!" I heard Gerd say behind me. He scrambled to put all of his body armor back on while remaining kneeling on the floor. I had dropped my night vision in my rush to remove my head from the view of the tower window. I was trying to find the radio and my night vision at the same time. I found the radio first, I pressed the big black button on the side,
"S.O.G.! S.O.G.! We just hear-"
BEEP BEEP, BEEP BEEP
"STUPID PIECE OF SHIT!" I screamed, "Gurd help me find my nods!" Oh man where are my nods, where are my fucking nods?!
I found my nods and put them back on, we chambered a round in our rifles. I joined Gurd in peeking over the window ledge towards where the shots came from.
"Why are you on my window?!" he asked.
"I DON'T KNOW!"
"WELL GO TO THE OTHER WINDOW IN CASE THERE IS SOMEONE OVER THERE!!!"
On my crawl to the other window I stopped to report to the S.O.G. I hit the button to call,
"S.O.G. this is tower on-"
BEEP BEEP, BEEP BEEP, BEEP BEEP, BEEP BEEP
"GOD DAMN STUPID PIECE OF SHIT RADIO!" Gurd started laughing. I started laughing. Gerd added,
"Why did I pick this window? This window is where the shots came from! Hahahaha! Why am I on this window?"
"I DON'T KNOW!" I couldn't help laughing, "WHY ARE WE LAUGHING GERD?"
"I DON'T KNOW I'M SO SCARED!" yet we continued to laugh.
I finally got a hold of the S.O.G.on the radio.
"S.O.G. this is tower one we heard two shots fired very close at 2 o' clock in relation to our position!" The S.O.G. replied,
"I know I heard them inside my hooch."
"FUCK!" Gurd yelled from behind me.
"No more sleep tonight, I guess," he said. Once again I couldn't help laughing. We both sat quiet for a few minutes, one on each side of the tower with our eyes barely over the edge of the windows. The rest of the night was quiet. Dawn came and revealed our bloodshot eyes. I stumbled to my hooch and laid in bed.
"Two more nights of tower," I thought.
The next day we sat down in good ol' tower one to begin our shift.
"You ready for another night Gurd?" I asked.
"Yeah let's just hope tonight is a lot slower than last night."
30 seconds later...
BOOM! We heard a distant blast.
"S.O.G. this is tower one..."