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Tonight I changed out a starter in an SUV that I wanted to put on the on-base for sale lot. My daughter and got it running and decided to leave base to run it through the automatic car wash. Since I was on base I was not CC and wasn't when I left the base for the wash. The car wash was one that the roll up door opens you drive in and the door shuts in front of you and behind you. The car in front of me started to drive out going super slow driving under the blow dryers and I was driving in super slow going by the side sprayers. A large Dodge pulled in fast and close behind me. This is when my SA kicked in and I found myself thinking I'm blocked front and back, have my young daughter with me, no sidearm and in a not so nice area! I stopped moving forward to ensure that if I need to push the car in front of me I would have enough room to get a good run at it. Needless to say; everything was normal but I my hands were trembling as if I had just dropped the buck of a lifetime. Just thought this could be some food for thought.
 

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I know how you feel, I hate being boxed in. I always try to remember not to pull up to close the the car ahead of me just in case I need to cut the wheel and punch it. It good to be aware but it doesn't sound healthy that your hands were trembling. I probably should be a little more worried about some situations but from my view you shouldn't be that worried about this situation. Don't get me wrong I carry a knife, flashlight and my 9mm everywhere I go and I am constantly looking around. I have always picked the safe spot in restaurants and I keep in mind my "duck and cover"/escape routes where ever I'm at but I myself wouldn't get the shakes in that situation. Again please don't take it as me slamming you because its better to by hyper vigilant than hypo. But just make sure your not causing yourself avoidable negativity.

So what is your routine when you leave base. I'm not familiar with that life style. Do you usually swing by your residence and grab your pistol so you can cc off base?

I appreciate the reminder to keep up the SA and avoid boxing myself in when possible.
 

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Alrighty......I can follow this pretty good. I'm military and fairly often peruse our base's "lemon lot". We have a 'drive-thru' car wash right next to it as well.
On base means 'No Guns', for everyone.....presumably. It's very rare that anything 'happens' on base, but some bases do have 'problems' with personnel being malicious (sp?) and your SA should never become so lax just becaues your 'comfortable' with your surrondings. I think you were plenty aware of your surrondings and did good thinking through the situation as it 'unfolded'.


You did good by ID'ing quickly that ya'll were 'boxed in' and making preps to push your way out if the situation 'went south'.

Something to consider would br to whole situation prior to going into the carwash. Was the car that pulled in behind you there in the lot before? Were the occupants of both cars together, talking among themselves, and 'possibly' behaving suspiciously? The totality of the situation before and as it 'unfolded' would give you a better picture.

Bravo Zulu, stay safe, and keep your head up and on a swivel.
 

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goldshellback makes a great point...did your sa just kick in when the vehicle closed on you or were there tells that may have been available before you were even in the situation...

we see so many stories here that start with someone "in" a situation and not a lot of insight on what lead up to the situation...

great point by jimtem...in the car wash situation i really wouldnt consider it unusual for a vehicle to come up fast and then sit directly behind me...its a cafeteria sort of business situation and people usually dont think about how fast they are approaching...they just do it...ditto on the point that maybe you are just looking a little too hard for something bad...you began trembling...

understandable...everyday we are placed in situations that make us all easy targets for someone who wants to do harm...but most of the time the situations we are in are harmless....we are just looking for the problem so it isnt so hard to find...no different than a customer who is expecting a bad experience at a business and creating one for themselves...

we have to find a happy medium or damn ourselves to a life full of worry instead of caution and preparedness...watching and preparing is one thing..when a great deal of worry accompanies that we need to reevaluate our sa and reactions....

thanks for sharing...these are great situations and for some who might never think twice about them it opens different possiblities...
 

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My guess is Elmendorf, and the wash was some where inthe Northern Boniface area? not a great area of town - Good on you for keeping the SA up, and I understand the on base/off base switch. That makes it very hard to keep CCW a practical option alll the time. Your best defense is always keeping your SA up and carrying the best weapon your allowed - a good knife at the minimum! Dont worry about the shakes, I still get em when I get a good shot of adreneline. That is why we train, train , train - fine motor skills are some of the first things to leave us when we are in it for real.

Semper Fi!
RT
 

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I always try to remember not to pull up to close the the car ahead of me just in case I need to cut the wheel and punch it.
Me too. It's a defensive driver training tactic for LE, body guards, etc. However, we are in the minority. Most motorist pull up to and stop a foot from the bumper.
 

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I can't stand it even in regular traffic when people pull up right behind me at a stop light. Even if there is nothing nefarious going on, what if the car in front of you breaks down and you need to pull around, or the guy behind you gets rearended and then plows into you too? I always try to leave at least half a cars length in front of me anytime I stop. You never know when you will need to pull out quickly.

Good job being aware in the car wash and thanks for sharing. That was one area where I had not thought about the risks. Thanks for sharing.
 

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If I worried about being boxed in at a carwash I would not go. I have never been to one where I was not boxed in.

Regards,
Jerry
 

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Me too. It's a defensive driver training tactic for LE, body guards, etc. However, we are in the minority. Most motorist pull up to and stop a foot from the bumper.
If you can see the tires of the car in front of you touching the road, chances are you can get around it.

Almost nobody follows that lil' gem of a rule anymore.
 

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A good rule of thumb is you should be able to see where the rubber meets the road on the car in front of you.
 
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