Suddenly the announcer declared the next event would be an armored unit in full assault. An M1 tank weighs 130,000 lbs. and could violate most of the nation’s posted speed limits. Second only to helicopters, tanks are just stupid cool. My pal and I anxiously searched downrange trying to pick out the tanks as they sprang from their camouflaged fighting positions.

The M1 is a turbine-powered beast, and it makes a distinctive sort of racket. The noise is a cacophonous harmony of a jet engine combined with the metallic clanking of tank tracks. There really is no other sound quite like it. We heard the distinctive sound all right, but not where we had expected it.

To our horror, we looked back and realized we had inadvertently slipped past the tanks while trying to secure a proper perch. The tanks leapt out of their fighting positions behind us and opened up with their coax guns and cupola-mounted fifties. The bulldozer wasn’t a piece of parked engineering equipment. The bulldozer was a target.

Friends, they say tracers as big as basketballs will come at you. I’d say it’s a profound understatement. We dove off the bulldozer and clambered down between the tracks as machinegun bullets streaked all around us. Flattening ourselves as much as possible, I was praying audibly, hoping the tanks wouldn’t shoot the bulldozer with their cannons.