19 May 2009
Hey! Watch your step!
From the Soldier side: Bosnia, 2003-04 SFOR 14 (Stabilization Force, 14th rotation) One of the few fears I actually had while deployed to Bosnia was finding a lost land mine. They guesstimated when we were there that there were half a million of them still scattered around the country. We arrived there in the summer of 03, and traveled around to most of our "AO (Area Of responsibility). When I went back to some places in the fall, after the leaves fell off the trees....I could see all the Mine warning signs that were covered by the leaves. Oppps. After that, I requested a mine map. I studied it to make sure we never strayed.
Each spring, the news would report of some farmer who would be plowing his fields...and hit a mine. You see a mine really doesn't care who it kills. It is a killing machine long after any war is over.
One day I was traveling through a Muslim village in Bosnia. I saw a man I knew walking across a field...he was several steps behind his wife. I thought that was odd, so I stopped and asked him: "I thought the Muslim tradition required the wife to walk behind the husband?"
He responded with: "Dude, when they wrote the Koran, they didn't have land mines."
I regret to report, that right after the above photo was taken for training purposes, Kermit lost both legs to a redneck who wanted frog legs for dinner.