OK, I signed up for this job, so I have nothing to complain about. In fairness, though, I volunteered shortly after basic while I was in the middle of AIT (Advanced Infantry Training). The idea of running around Afghanistan with a rifle wasn’t my idea of a good time. So, when a couple of sergeants with a cluster of ribbons on their chests came into our training area and asked for a few volunteers, my hand shot up. I didn’t even know what the job was, but I figured it had to be a step up from being a grunt. That’s how I ended up in the Army’s Bomb Disposal Unit.
Over all the job has been pretty cool. I spent most of my time learning about explosive devices and how to disarm them. When we are out in the field, we wear these Michelin Man suites and stop things from going BOOM. I’m actually considered the best in my unit at this job. It is probably why I got called to disarm this bomb. Sometimes being the best isn’t a good thing. Right now, is a perfect example.
I’m currently lying on my side in a tunnel under the main hangar at Bagram Air Force Base. It must have taken the Taliban months to dig this, and they only found it by accident, just a couple of hours ago. The call went out to get the bomb squad on sight ASAP. That was over an hour and a half ago, and we only arrived on site within the last fifteen minutes. You’ve got to love inter-branch communication. I can only assume the bomb is here because the President is scheduled to land in approximately ten minutes. Right now, he’s flying in circles waiting for the all clear and I’m in this cramped hole with a bomb the size of a Volkswagen Bug. What did I do to karma to deserve this?
Tick… Tick… Tick…
Most IEDs are fairly simple devices. There is a power source, a triggering device, a detonator, and explosives. This device is much more complicated, with several wires leading around and through what looks like a backup trigger in case the first one fails. Someone put a lot of thought into designing this, and I now have only three minutes left to disarm it.
Tick… Tick… Tick…
From experience, I know certain wires that are dead ends. I focus on a pair of white and black wires in the very back of the bomb that looks like they control everything. I reach around with my pair of wire cutters when my arm accidentally moves the control module over several inches. Nothing goes boom, and that’s an excellent thing. This is no place to be careless! Underneath the control panel, I can now see another pair of wires, red and green.
Tick… Tick… Tick…
Now I understand. They designed the black and white wires as decoys. Cut one of them and everything goes up in an enormous ball of fire. I’ve seen explosives designed like this before. The person who builds these bombs is a master technician who takes great pride in his work. It’s the red or green wire that needs to be cut. But which one? In times like this, we’re taught to go with your gut, but all my gut is saying is that I’d really like a cheeseburger. Strange the things that go through my mind in situations like this. Red means stop, and green means go. Go with your head and cut the red. No time for further deliberation.
Tick… Three… Two… Snip!
About the Creator
I have spent most of my life traveling the US and abroad. Now it's time to create what I hope are interesting fictional stories.
I have 2 books on Amazon, Mitigating Circumstances and Short Stories for Open Minds.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
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