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A day in the life of a cannon-cocker

At FOB Wright in Kunar Province in Afghanistan, the M777 Howitzers have been fired so often, that the locals have dubbed the base Top Chi, which is Pashtu for the Big Guns.

This province continues to have one of the highest numbers of significant activities in Afghanistan. For the artillery men stationed here, that call comes often, day and night. Their howitzers shoot an array of 155mm artillery rounds; a 3′, 110-lb projectile with deadly accuracy that can reach 30,000 meters, with a kill radius of 50 meters.

These artillery men, whose slang title is cannon-cockers, provide support when it’s needed. The enemy knows how good they are and if someone can hear the projectile, they know it’s headed their way and it’s best to depart the area. But it takes everyone doing his job—the right way every time.

This is a mini-picture of what happens a thousand times every day all over the combat area. Good soldiers doing their jobs, defending our freedom, while we worry about what team a basketball player will pick. It’s a goofy world.

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