“Holy Crap are those things brand new?!“ I said it before I realized it. I walked into the arms room vault and suddenly recognized what I was there to do. All my years in the army I had never seen/smelled brand new weapons, right off the truck and out of the box. It felt like Christmas. A pyramid stack of boxes, one for each soldier. I lovingly opened boxes, ripped open bags and pulled out the new M4’s. For me it was that slightly euphoric feeling you get when you get behind the wheel of your first new car. I closed my eyes and the smell of the freshly oiled weapon (minus the smell of carbon) was something to savor. I guess the Army gives you an appreciation for things that are a little weird and most people never get lucky enough to understand. That M4 is about to become my new best friend for the next year or so and I wanted to introduce myself properly.
As I held the small weapon in my hands my mind flashed back to a time I was working security at a check point, and the Iraqi Police station across the street got mortared. I fell/flew forward toward the ground as the bits on concrete and debris rained down. But alas the whole diving for cover thing didn’t quite go as planned. The front sight post of my very cumbersome M-16 got hung up in the wire of the Hesco barrier maze, and I hung there thinking ‘This is Not good‘. I really wished I had the smaller and less cumbersome M4 that day.
So I’m trading in my M16 jalopy for a slick new M4 and couldn’t be happier. The old 16 and I shared many miles but now I’m looking forward to where my new compact is going to take me.