Monday, June 05, 2006

The Trip Back

I forgot to mention in my Memorial Day post that because the Ambassador had another appointment after the memorial ceremony, I was forced to hitch a ride back to the International Zone with a ground convoy rather than taking a helicopter back.

This was my first ground convoy in the Red Zone since Shane's death, and I was full of apprehension. I made sure that I was carrying extra compresses, packets of Quick Clot, and as much 9mm ammo as I could hold. I said an extra prayer as we took off, and sat on the edge my seat ready for anything that could happen.

But something remarkable happened on the drive from Camp Victory to the Green Zone . . . nothing. There were so many Iraqi security forces manning checkpoints along Route Irish that it was difficult to discern where Camp Victory ended and where the IZ began. In the end, it was as uneventful as a drive from Dulles Airport to Alexandria, albeit with heavily armed Iraqi police rather than toll booths.

But considering that the Airport Road was once the site of daily ambushes against U.S. forces, uneventful was good. Very good.