Saturday, April 16, 2011

Afghanistan Through My Eyes - Deployment

I'm at the Inn at Schofield Barracks on O'ahu, Hawaii. I've been to O'ahu before, but never to a military base. It's not exactly the Hawaii I remember.

On the flights over from Jacksonville I met some very nice people. I learned my lesson from last time and brought cards so people could follow my blog.

One gentleman I met has a cargo service and was on his way to Guam. When he mentioned it I asked him if the head in the airport on the base still has the names of all the troops. He knew exactly what I was talking about because there was a wonderful story in an issue of Vietnam Magazine, that he had also read, about a soldier who was on his way to Vietnam and had found the head full of names and stories from all the soldiers who had passed through. What a small world. He's going to see if he can find it for me and take a picture!

Sgt. Lovelace from Jacksonville, Florida picked me up at the airport here in Hawaii. He is very nice and was telling me how there was a bit of confusion regarding his orders and that he almost got sent back to Iraq about a week ago. Then he told me that a couple of his buddies were killed. It's the worst part about this job. It puts everything back into reality.

The orders are out to "draw weapons" at 2000 tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Afghanistan Through My Eyes

Two days to go before I begin my trip back into Afghanistan. I am really feeling the pressure, but hope to still get everything done that I have too. Last time it all seemed so surreal that I was strangely calm.

I've been reading up as much as I can on the history of Afghanistan and the Taliban. It's been disheartening to say the least about what has happened to the Afghani people and the role we've tried to play in "the great game".

I'm really looking forward to hooking up with the Army. My oldest brother was in the Army and served in Vietnam. He's never talked to me about it except the one time I asked him and he told me about watching a helicopter disappear in the air in front of him. When he returned from the war he stayed in California where he's lived ever since.

War does things to you that you didn't expect. I never expected to be going into a combat zone at 52 years old...again, but I'll be there writing about it and all the troops I meet and try to find something good about the day. Sometimes it's a good day if you see the sun come up.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Afghanistan Through My Eyes - ANA 2011

I was going through my previous blog posts and came upon the post that has had the most hits. It was a video about the Afghanistan National Army written prior to when I went to Afghanistan in January. The video was degrading to the ANA. I know I wrote about the amazing progress and strides in combat preparedness they have made that I personally witnessed, but I thought it would be nice to show it.

I am thrilled to post this video and I encourage you to watch it.

Afghanistan is rising as a shiny star to take control of their county thanks to ISAF, their training, time, effort and money.