Friday, April 24, 2009


Spring is here and time to get the guns out and bust some caps. We went to the range on Tuesday. I got assigned my M-16 and christened her "Matilda" -last year while in Basic I had called my weapon that name and folks thought I was messing around with a 16 year old girl...Funny as hell that was...We prepared for the range last week by going to a simulator called the EST(Electronic Simulation Training). The EST is a huge videogame room except the weapons are real but have been modified to shoot at target scenarios on a huge video screen with laser technology. I hadn't picked up a weapon for any length of time since Fort ILL and after a few sessions I came outta there shooting expert. The news shocked the shit out of everyone at the unit. Video is nothing like real word conditions on the range. Some say it's harder indoors than outdoors. I beg to differ. The challenging part of this is having your helmet on and making sure you rifle butt is tucked in the crook of your shoulder while jocking for space with your ballistic vest(Interceptor Body Armor aka IBA) on. We look like a bunch of Ninja Turtles with all this gear on.

So this past Tuesday, we go way out into the boonies of Bragg to the ranges. I was a bit nervous but motivated to "gun clap" for most of the day. My first time out I hit a dismal 9 out of 40 targets. I was amped on yerba mate and my breathing was hurried which affected my trigger squeeze and stance. I felt a certain amount of pressure because one's measure of self/"soldierness"/masculinity is measured by how nice one is with a weapon-just like a playing sports especially basketball -which brothas often use to measure one's coolness/blackness, etc. So second time up, I shot a 16 outta 40- just warming up and getting a feel for number 7 where I was shooting from. Folks are starting to look at me funny- I was one of four who didn't qualify at this point. I was coached on my shooting stance and sight picture. Cool I got it. I knew what I had to do...3rd time up, I shot a 30 outta 40 and scored Sharpshooter. I was one with Matilda knocking down targets at 300m, 200m, 150m, 100m, 75m, and 50m and could of gotten expert if I hadn't shot low on 4 targets. The best score in our unit was 33 out of 40. I know practice makes good and I was just warming up. I uncovered something I like to do but I hope going forward, I don't have to shoot anyone who might be a threat to my life.

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