Have you ever been in or near a war zone?

Aside from the Arab Spring trauma I went through, which wasn’t really a war zone (discussed in a previous post), there’s only one other “war zone” I’ve been dead close to.
I was vacationing in Beirut during the 2006 Lebanon War. I was 20, and with my older cousin (she’s even more adventurous than I am). It was scary as shit (sorry for the language). Our hotel lost power, we could hear bombs, horrible experience. :frowning:

This same cousin of mine, had an even worse wartime experience years before. She was in Kuwait City, working as an expat in a company there, when the Iraqis invaded in 1990. She was detained by Iraqi soldiers for two days, and managed to escape along with some other expats when she had the chance.

Have you been near or in a war zone? What was it like?

Spent a year in Vietnam, 1968-1969; does that count? Most days was just business as usual, as I was on a rear echelon base. We performed maintenance and repairs to Marine facilities. On occasion, we took incoming rocket and mortar fire, which was pretty much terrifying when it happened, and on one such instance we had to medivac five of our guys. I spent twelve months sweating and swatting bugs, and putting up with Marines, and was never so glad to leave somewhere.


I’ve never fired or been the target of a “shot fired in anger” though. It was kind of like training except for carrying live ammo everywhere.

Does it count when you’re at the buffet at Circus Circus when they put out the fresh prime rib?

If not then no.

Riots? Yes. War zone? No.

Panama and here in Saudi Arabia.

I guess that being in Abu Dhabi in 2001-02 during Gulf War II probably counts; we had to have classes and were provided injectors in case of Chemical attack by Saddam and his rockets. And the US Air Force based a lot of stuff out of there.

Would guerrilla operations in Guatemala in the 1980s count? If so, made it through an attack on the drilling rig where I was working.

I haven’t, but my wife has.

I’m guessing your not counting the times I spent in a room with my ex?

I was in Matagalpa province of Nicaragua in 1987 and heard artillery fire. The locals said there was a battle going on.

Which riots were they? I’d at least be interested to hear your experience, if you could tell more of the story.

Deployed to Saudi Arabia in the first Gulf War, '90-'91. Had a few scuds lobbed our way (we were well over 100 miles south of Kuwaiti border), but nothing hit our USAF location. I did see a 747 that was departing stand on its wing at mid-runway, just a couple hundred feet over my head (if that high). Plus a few other sights you don’t get back home.

I once spent a day in Chicago.

I spent two years of my childhoodon the mean streets of Bethesda, Maryland.

Kavanaugh jokes aside, I got nothin’.

I participated in the People Power Revolution of 1986. I don’t know if you’d call that a war zone, but I was there.

Yes, the ceasefire line between Pakistan and India, in Ladakh (Jammu and Kashmir).

There was some conflict and a curfew was imposed which saw armed Indian soldiers at every corner. At one point an angry mob stormed out of the police compound and began a rock hurling battle in the main square. We cut through the warren part of the old town, as the shops were closed up and we wanted to buy cigarettes. Only to come around a bend and smack into four armed soldiers carrying tear gas, headed to the fray.

We turned on our heals and bolted back to our guesthouse, where there was no longer any staff remaining!

You mean Indian Held Kashmir. :mad:

I work in international development and my niche is conflict zones. I was in Kosovo 1999-2000, Afghanistan beginning in late 2001and over the years since, Mindanao province of the Philippines, and Iraq from 2003-2006, with some time off in the middle. I started some threads here about my experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan over the years.

Kuwait and southern Iraq in 2003, and Kuwait in 2005.

Kuwait was technically classified as a Combat Zone (I qualified for the Combat Zone Tax Exemption while serving there). There was an actual threat from extremists, but it was fairly low.

The area of southern Iraq I was briefly stationed in wasn’t exactly a war zone either, while I was there. My unit went up in a small, self-contained convoy. We weren’t sure what to expect. We were in full “battle-rattle” (body armor, helmets, load-bearing gear, ammo, loaded weapons, etc.). We got to an MP checkpoint near our destination - and they were in sun-hats, with unloaded weapons(!). Apparently, the threat level in that area was assessed as being so low that their command was more worried about accidental discharges than about them having to fire their weapon in self-defense.

That did change, though. I never saw any combat, and I was not aware of anything near where I was stationed, but the locals became noticeably less friendly. When my unit first rolled through, we got friendly waves and smiles, and people trying to come up to us to sell us stuff. By the time my unit pulled out, only a couple of months later, one of our convoys was stoned - no shots fired, cosmetic damage to a couple of Humvees, not much of a threat, but a very different attitude, and a thus a very different threat environment. The MPs at the checkpoint by that time were in Kevlars with loaded weapons.