Friday, February 25, 2011

The Sniper!

My husband and I were chatting last night and my thoughts swam back to the day I was called the Blond Iraqi Sniper. I know the nickname might sound a bit confusing so allow me to explain where it comes from.

I was attending a one month army camp in the summer. This camp brought many students from different parts of the country together to do some army training (more like fitness really, rock climbing, running, absailing, etc) as well as some social work where we painted poor government schools and built play areas for the students in different parts of the country. It was also a unique way to get to know our country better by visiting interesting and historic sites.

One part of the training was target shooting from a 100 meters. I should not be calling it training because we only had one session with 10 bullets using an M16. Our group had 16 guys and 4 girls. We had camped on a hill in a proper army platoon base and we were challenged to a competition between our group, the Sabella, and the army guys. During the practice session I hit the target 8 out of 10 times at a distance of 100m and therefore, the girls decided that I should go for the first round of the competition.

There were two distances that we had to shoot at; 100m and 200m. Four guys including myself, went up against 5 army dudes... I felt that everyone had their eyes on me because I was taking a long time focusing on the target compared to the guys who finished in half the time. The Army officials walked to the targets and came back with the results. I nailed 9 out of the ten shot and the next best one was a 7. This was so exciting! Especially that I was the only female competing against males from my peer group and the soldiers.

The next target was at 200m. I asked the girls if they had wanted to go for it but they all decided that since I did so well the first round I should go for the second as well. I wore my glasses again and lay down on the sand, picked up my M16 and focused. The Army personnel, I think he was lieutenant, who had trained me when I held the weapon for the first time ever, stayed by my side. I took my time as well... taking care of each bullet, breathing and trying to relax before my finger pressed the trigger.... when the results came back; the lieutenant responsible for the army camp was beaming and smiling from ear to ear. He ran up to me and said that I got 10 out of 10 this time making my total 19/20. He also told me that I had beat the army score on an individual basis... as a group the army beat our camp but as an individual score, I was the one who received the highest score. I was ecstatic.

I do not like weapons and never have, but this was different. Where I come from guns and such weapons are considered men’s toys. Everyone was stunned because a woman beat a man at his own game.... not A man... but many men heehee!

The news hit the papers... it was just a small note mentioning the competition, my name, my score, and how I beat them all on an individual basis. My mom still has the clipping hidden somewhere. The fact that the news hit the papers did not please the platoons we visited after that, and they continued to challenge me calling me the Blond Iraqi Sniper.

Whatever you give a woman, she can do it 10 times better if she wanted to. It all depends on how badly she wants something and then nothing can stop in her way if she was determined to get it. Women just need to believe in themselves and their capabilities more often than they do!

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