I myself was on a Chinook helicopter in 2004 an important mission during the Iraq war. I was standing by the open hatch behind the cockpit. A violent burst of machine gun fire went off inches from my head. I was startled. But I’m a trained professional journalist, and I kept my cool even when we were forced to land in the Middle Eastern desert.
That is my 6 PM version of the events. However, at the moment it is 10 AM. And all I’ve had to drink is two cups of coffee and glass of orange juice.
We were forced to land in the Middle Eastern desert because air traffic control told us to. The desert was hundreds of miles from the fighting, at a well-defended U.S. airbase in Kuwait. The violent burst of machinegun fire came from our machinegun, inside the Chinook, aimed a junkyard full of wrecked Kuwaiti cars.
And our important mission was to throw Dixie Chicks CDs out the helicopter window because their lead singer had announced she was against the war and was ashamed that President George W. Bush was a fellow Texan, a sentiment not shared by the Chinook crew members, a number of whom were from Texas. Also we were supposed to see if the machine gun worked.