Machine gun fire sputtering outside my window startled me awake.
I looked at our youngest cat with concern. Leaning close, I whispered to him, “I’m going for water. Cover me.”
Crouching low, I dashed to the bathroom. Just then, the window literally rattled from a booming explosion.
Life is a battlefield in Taylorsville — or at least it certainly sounds like it from just around the corner of Camp Atterbury. That’s the U.S. Army National Guard training base where military practice exercises certainly seem like the real deal to nearby residents.
Don’t believe me? Then believe a fellow reporter who witnessed an uninitiated Edinburgh Premium Outlets shopper literally duck at a store counter one afternoon a few years ago when an especially reverberating Atterbury explosion shook the stores.
I broach the subject this morning to tell residents living near the noise of Columbus Municipal Airport one message: I feel your pain, brethren. The strange thing is, my wife and I actually have grown so accustomed to much of the shake, rattle and roll that we rarely even acknowledge it much anymore.
If company asks, “What on earth was that?” we often have to stop a second to realize what they’re asking.
Strange what can become normal.
Granted, all this probably would not qualify as ideal neighborhood ambiance. But why would we complain about something that can be saving soldiers’ lives — and someday, perhaps our own?
I scarcely can recall what the subdivision of Colony Park was like before the war on terror resurrected Atterbury’s mission a decade ago and changed the neighborhood soundtrack.
I know that Indiana Pacers radio analyst Slick Leonard loves to dust off his signature phrase of “Boom, baby!” when the home team nails a 3-pointer. In my neck of the woods, Slick would grow weary with his exclamation well after breakfast on some weekends.
Though my spouse and I can go days without noting the war games around us, our pets still jump like frazzled foot soldiers and then freeze midstep when the bigger artillery sound their greetings.
I always smile when reading notes such as Letters to the Editor encouraging residents to remember our men and women in uniform at a time when many military maneuvers have faded from Page One. How can I forget when the dress-rehearsal crescendo in the distance invariably reminds me?
I grew up with an ex-military father maybe 25 miles from Fort Knox, Ky., and its occasional thunder. So somehow this seems like a natural progression to my ears.
When it came time to buy bathroom cleaner a few years ago, I thought of our bombs-away Atterbury crew. And I selected a brand that seemed oh-so-appropriate.
Brian Blair is a Republic reporter. He can be reached at 379-5672 or email@example.com.
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