The Big Voice


Giant Voice poster
Giant Voice poster in Iraq (2009)

I just returned from a week in (an undisclosed location in SW Asia), and although this was my third trip into theater, the only “Giant Voice” announcements I ever heard sounded like “mphhMPPPLphr”, or the sound you might hear if you put your hand over your mouth and tried to say something important.

But this time I heard it loud and clear. A few of us (me, MAD Magazine legend Sam Viviano, our USO rep, and the DOD escort) were lingering in the Dining Facility (known universally as the DFAC) and the DOD escort was telling us a story. In mid-sentence she was interrupted by the Giant Voice.

There were incoming IDFs, or Indirect Fire projectiles and the announcement told us to take cover. Our USO companion, an experienced and well-traveled man, looked at me for an instant and dropped to the floor. So did the DOD escort.

I am no Einstein, but when the two most experienced people in a group of four dive to the floor, it is a pretty good idea to do the same.

After the impact (two mortars hit near another DFAC and no one was killed, thankfully), we were given the all clear and sat back up at the table.

Then the DOD escort continued her story as if nothing had happened at all.

I didn’t hear a word she said.


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