I was almost struck by lightning today
I usually don't talk about work, but today was unlike anything I've ever seen, I have to tell everyone.
ALL of this is true. It really happened.
We were running a combined arms, crew-served weapons range. Hundreds of Marines were run through a series of stations where they fired m240, M2 50 Cal, and Mk-19 machine guns one after the other. They also got a 60mm and 80mm mortar system demonstration. Over 100,000 rounds are fired in this range, and it takes all day, non-stop movement from about fifty instructors.
Two hours into the range the lightning starts to strike in the distance. Usually storms and lightning are cause for cease fires, but these shooters hiked over 15k to get to the range and shoot. So, our captain orders us to continue because we're not going to waste these Marines effort, and we are pretty pumped anyway because the flashes of lightning are cool with all the guns going off.
It starts raining, still sunny out, somehow raining. We get some reports that a tornado's touched down nearby; it's not too close, but all roads are cut off. We're trapped on the range.
We keep firing.
Imagine this line of twenty machine guns shooting out across this range at these old tank hulks. The rounds and tracers are smoking as they leave the barrel, burning little trails of clarity through the rain as they fly, before flashing and skipping off these old tanks husks. The barrels are so hot that they're still dry; the moisture cooks off of them instantly. We're all, screaming and joking, and just being as belligerent as fuck. The captain is laughing, and the WO-5 gunner's eyes are just as wide as they can be.
We finally, finally, get cut off for safety when a damn lightning bolt strikes the ground less than fifty meters in front of our line, and we all see the flash. We cut the guns, and all go hide inside the ammo shed, while the students hide in the bleachers. We wait out the rain for an hour, just screaming and laughing at how awesome a time we've had.
We finish the range, no injuries, all training complete. As soon as we try to load the guns, it starts hailing.
Middle of the day, sun out, damn hailing on us!
Military life can be challenging, and honestly really boring most of the time. But times like today, I can't imagine doing anything else.
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