Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11 2006, Shouz, Afghanistan
I have already posted a number of blog entrys on my myspace page, but that really doesn't allow me to just get stuff down and include the pictures I would like to, that help tell the story, So here I am putting out a new name, and sharing with you all on yet another format. I hope you enjoy this format, and I am interested in what you think about what I say, as well as what questions you may have that I can provide some thoughts on. I should also thank a number of people who have influenced me to ultimately begin this little adventure. Jeff, who you can find at, who raised the bar so to speak, Major Strong at who I unabashedly copy in my security considerations so as to avoid problems with my life, and Scott Kesterson who is currently blogging away about our stuff here in Afghanistan at In addition to that I want to tell my wife that I love her beyond words, and I appreciate the sacrifice she makes to allow me to be here. My son and daughter who are both outstanding people in their own right, who support their mom through everything. I love you all. And of course I have a slew of people who support me in thoughts, words and deeds back at home and some not at home but they go under the heading of friends and family, and they are fantastic. I could go on.. but who wants to read that....

Today is 9-11-2006. 5 years ago today I was trying to get out the door when my father in law called and told me I had to stop everything, and turn on the news. What we all witnessed then stopped everything in time. I remember clearly talking to Leo on the phone, looking at my fence that needed a fresh coat of paint at a minimum, discussing how the world would never quite be the same for any of us. We were right. Jeff was stuck in Medford, Amy went down and got him, its only 300 miles one way. Alan Jacksons song about the day is exactly right. Because of 9-11 I stayed in the Oregon Army National Guard, I was a First Lieutenant at the time, and I was considering getting out. I worked as a risk manager in Salem, and spent a lot of time at ball games, basket ball, football, soccer, and baseball, as that is what you do when you have a son and daughter both involved in sports and other school activities. Life seemed to really move fast at that time. It really didn't seem that I had enough time on my hands to spend with everyone who matters to me. It of course still doesn't seem to be enough time to spend with everyone that really matters to me. I doubt if it ever will.

9-11-2001 our country pulled together regardless of religion, political affiliation, or lack thereof and realized that we are Americans. The great thing about America is that you can choose to be here or you can choose to live somewhere else. Most all of my friends and family come from people who chose to be here, I would imagine that is true for most Americans. If you would prefer some other place, no one here will work to hard to make you stay here, you get to opt in or opt out as you see fit.

Since 9-11 I have felt more of a pull to serve again in uniform. That really doesn't match what people think of me all the time, and I won't take a ton of time to explain it, but for me it is more about feeling good doing something that I feel matters. Since 9-11 I have put another 3 years service in uniform working for the Oregon Army National Guard. I enjoy working with soldiers. Oregon sent approximately 2200 soldiers to help with Hurricane Katrina efforts, we were there on average for about 3 weeks, some longer some shorter. From the time we got the word to go, to the day I stepped out on the tarmac in Louisiana, it was 4 days. We did some very good stuff in New Orleans, and I plan on visiting it, when I return, to see what it is like with people in it.

The 41st Brigade Combat Team, left Oregon in February as a whole, headed towards Camp Shelby MS to train up for operations in Afghanistan. We were there for slightly over 3 months. It was hot. And humid. Then we went home for a few days and then off to Afghanstan. We have been in theater for over 3 months at this point. 42 states, and over 1600 people are invested in this mission. That does not take into consideration the many other people who are affected directly or indirectly by our collective absence.

Everyone affected gives, some voluntarily, and some because they have no choice. I would like to thank those people who support me for giving me as much as you do. It means a lot.

SSG Nathan Bradley Lindsey was killed in action two days ago. He was an Oregon soldier, I have met him numerous times in the course of our jobs, he was a professional, he was friendly and in my experience he always had time to help another person out. He will be missed by us all.

SSG Fuga was killed in action in the same day. He was from the Missouri National Guard. I have never met SSG Fuga, but we owe him our respect as well.

If you pray, say a prayer for these men and their families.



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