A lot of times I get ideas for blog postings by reading the news, or I have something to communicate with my readers. Today is a little of both.
First, “Immolation” is well on track to be on the shelves in May, as opposed to June. I decided I wanted to get in early on the summer reading season (for those of us in the northern hemisphere) so I will launch fairly soon. Those of you who have subscribed to my newsletter list will get some additional classified info in regard to the launch, namely exact times and other goodies. However, I don’t want to put anything out there until results are set in stone. Those chosen few who are on the list will hear from me soon, however.
Can’t wait to put the keystone on the Paul Thompson saga.
The news itself, at least here ‘Stateside, isn’t really worth watching. For a while it was Trump 24/7 with the volume turned all the way up. I could barely stand to turn the TV on. Well, that’s quieted down a bit, but little has caught my eye except some depressing stuff in Afghanistan.
Definitely won’t get into that here.
One news article that did catch my eye, however, was about a Marine who was apparently in the thick of things when his weapon broke. So he called customer service back in the ‘States and they set him straight.
This is a little bit of a head-scratcher for me. Here’s why- I don’t know what the current state of affairs is with internet service in the Box, but how did he get the number? Did he have a smart phone with him, and was he able to Google Barrett’s customer service number? That could take minutes, time you don’t have. It could be, though, that for some odd reason the number was written on the inside of a Technical Manual (TM) that the guy carried with him. Still, though, internet service can be really patchy in some places that firefights occur in.
The next thing that got me was that the Marine bent something when he was maintaining his weapon the previous day. I’m not an expert on the M107 Barrett rifle, but I have handled and fired it. It’s pretty robust. He must have “maintained” the hell out of it to have caused a malfunction of the type listed in the article. Plus, if you suspect you have done something stupid to your weapon, the responsible thing to do is to test-fire it or at least do a thorough functions check.
After all, you only live once.
Finally, assuming he did experience a malfunction and was able to call customer service given a reliable number and cell phone service- how did he get past the gatekeepers on the customer service line? Was it the gunfire in the background? His no-doubt profligate use of profanity? Imagine the Marine’s state of mind if he overcame all obstacles and reached Barrett, only to hear hold music.
Freaky stuff can and does happen. For some reason, this story rings true with me, which is why I’m passing it along.
I can totally see Joe (shorthand for a lower enlisted troop) screwing up his weapon, the weapon goes down when he needs it, and he busts out his unauthorized smart phone bought in a haji-mart and dials up Customer Service in the ‘States. The bored teenager working Customer Service back in America gets the phone call of his or her’s life and he or she punches the panic button and gets a first-rate armorer on the phone at light speed. A little verbal jujitsu and a hasty field repair by the Marine, and life is good.
The Marine hangs up, resumes firing.
I’ll bet when they got back to the “rear,” though, his non-commissioned officers had some things to say to him.
And someone else got to carry the Barrett.