The convoy of five Humvees rolled down a dirt road when a voice boomed across the radio.
"Indirect fire! Indirect fire! Roll through! Roll through!"
Spc. Shane Sotocole mashed the accelerator. The vehicle jerked forward. Dust from the convoy darkened the bright sky.
The same voice on the radio had a different message seconds later.
Sotocole hit the brakes as the Humvee skidded to a stop on the side of the road. He and two passengers, Sgt. Terrell Fox and Sgt. Terry Meyers, unzipped green pouches attached to their belt. They slipped black gasmasks over their face.
A minute later, the same voice announced an all-clear. The three soldiers, members of the Washington National Guard’s 81st Brigade Combat Team, removed the masks. Meyers, sitting in the passenger seat, turned to his colleagues and nodded.
"This is the kind of stuff that’s gonna save us over there," he said.
Over there. Iraq.