“Ma’am, I need your ID. NOW.” His young voice boomed. I slowly obeyed, stilldumbfounded. What else could I do? He led me away from the van, but remaining in the streamof the bright headlights. It was then I noticed out of the corner of my eye that we were slowingbecoming surrounded by more security men and vehicles. Again, he yelled at me, “On yourknees, hands behind your head.” I was in disbelief and still had no idea what was going on. Iwas in uniform – a 19-year-old girl in an American US Navy uniform and driving a governmentvehicle. And yet, I was still being treated like I had a turban on my head and a swastika on myshoulder.My aggressor walked a few feet away from me and began talking and pointing all overthe place to his partner. He also made intermittent calls on his radio. I began to notice the ice onthe ground melting from the heat of my flesh under my uniform onto the skin of my knees. All Icould think about was what was going to happen to me and what kind of trouble was I going tobe in. How did this happen? I still had two flight schedules left to deliver!Eventually the partner, a seemingly much more compassionate individual, came over tome. Noticing the look of fear on my face, he spoke to me reassuringly. “It’s alright ma’am.We’ll get this taken care of.”Noticing an opportunity, I jumped in quickly. “Can you please tell me what’s going on?”I pleaded. I tried to keep my voice as neutral as possible. I was terrified, yet furious that theycould treat me like this. Me, fellow military. I was also mortified. I kept looking around to seeif anyone came out of our hangar, which wasn’t too far away and still within good viewingrange. I felt the embarrassment one feels sitting on the side of the road as they’re receiving aticket for speeding while seeing all rubberneckers passing by – only 1000 times stronger due tothe M-16 in my face.I thought of how my dad always warned us to never point a gun at anyone at any time.Even if it is unloaded – which I’m sure this one was not. Clearly this guy was not tooconscientious of his gun aiming. Dad would have been livid with his poor gun etiquette andwould not have been afraid to tell this shmuck how things really are.The two glanced at each other as if they were sending out secret messages above myhead. Why won’t they tell me what was going on? Such nerve.
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