I was lying in the rack two nights ago talking to my lovely wife on my Iraqna cell phone and getting ready to say goodnight as I had to be awake again in about five hours. Just before I did so, I heard the sound of gunfire. This is certainly not a rare experience, especially at night, but tonight the amount of fire was unusually high, and close. I initially did not think much of it, as I told my wife, but the volume of fire seemed to continue to increase. She encouraged me to just get some sleep and not go out to check it out. I initially agreed, as our perimeter is more than adequately manned, and we said our goodbyes. After I hung up, I laid there pensively in bed for a long 10 seconds as the volume of fire did not die down as it usually does. It continued to increase. My Soldier's instincts got the better of me as I got up and started to put my gear on over my t-shirt and shorts.
I chambered a round into my M4 carbine and began to open the door of my hooch when the announcement came over the camp PA system. "ATTENTION! THE ***** BASE IS NOT UNDER ATTACK. I SAY AGAIN, THE ***** BASE IS NOT UNDER ATTACK. IT IS ONLY CELEBRATION FIRE. Needless to say, I took of my gear and went back to bed. Apparently, Iraq had beaten Syria in a big soccer match. Several Iraqis told me the next day that the streets were packed with people chanting victory slogans, singing songs and firing into the air with AK-47's. This is not the first time I have heard or witnessed celebration fire, but it was definitely the largest outburst of it that I had heard and seen. There were a lot of tracers visible that night.
The problem is that what goes up must come down. Soon after the shooting began, the 7.62mm rain began. A total of 46 people went to local hospitals over the next 24 hours for treatment of their wounds from the falling bullets. No Americans were hurt, but I can't think of a more useless and preventable way to get shot. This happens all to frequently. Thunder 6 has another story of celebration fire gone horribly wrong here. Luckily, there was a happy ending. He posted that here. Would somebody please send something safer like bottle-rockets or firecrackers...??