Saturday, November 04, 2006

Okay, I am back now earning my keep

I am back in Shindand now, for a while at least, not really sure what the future for Shouz holds, we have had everybody with any military sense out to look at the situation and all agree that it is a key piece of terrain. However, the bean counters rule the world, even in a war where terrain is not affected by beans. So, there apparently isn't any funding maintain the infrastructure. It is clearly defensible, so what is funny is that if the exact same piece of terrain were sitting surrounded by barbed wire, with no cost, then we could maintain it with no worries. In fact who knows, that may happen. That would mean, no outside communication via internet anyway, no electricity, no prepared food other than MRE's and of course waste would be burned, I believe the recipe is 3 gallons of diesel to a 25 Gallon drum, but I am not completely sure. Thinking about it becomes annoying, because again it is clear that we should maintain it, just not clear that we will.

I have pictures that I can not post right now, mostly because the internet here is up and down, and too many people are on it, I will probably get on about 2 in the morning to see if I can do the job better then, but of course I can't write as well then. Or maybe it would be better, less thought involved, freer flow of what ever this really is, Ha!

We are currently helping maintain the peace in the Valley where AK used to live. Interesting fact on that, no one who matters really has seen his body. I wonder if he and Jimmy Hoffa are chatting about now. Anyway, our function is to keep the two rival factions from inflicting further injury to one another. Interestingly enough, it was AK's faction that moved to shooting at women and children. May they all turn sterile, at the very least.

We have finally gotten clearance to go to contract to build a couple of schools in the area, and to sink a couple of wells. That is at least a positive thing that we can do, if the Taliban don't take 15 minutes and blow it apart. I seriously doubt they will damage wells as they are thirsty also.

Things that I am missing at home while I am gone.... Salmon fishing with my Dad or Father in law for one, High School Football games, when the air is crisp and the fog rolls in, now you all from Vegas or thereabouts, don't get the fog, but where I come from, that is part and parcel, LOL. My Family had a pumpkin carving party again, for about the 15th year I believe, and of course I wasn’t' there to help. My job is to help gut about 90 -100 pumpkins so that the folks who come can carve away to their hearts content. We have kids who have done that every year of their lives now, who are in Jr. High. It is one of those cool things. I miss getting to the River Shore with my wife and just talking about the week before running into other parents from the Putnam School district. Of course it goes without saying that I miss just being home with my wife and kids, though the kids are out and about more and more. Basketball season starts soon, and I have seen every season of Chris's play except for this one.

I have made some friends here in the Kandak I work with. The guys from Weapons Company, which I mentored for about 4 months miss seeing me, which is a good feeling. And the guys from 2nd Company want me to get back to Shouz with them, which may happen, but who knows. So it isn't like I am not making an impression, I just wonder sometimes if it is going to be a long lasting impression, or if this is a stop gap to what ever their destiny is going to be. As I go down the road in the area, it is easy to see all the remains of what the Soviets did here. They were violent and came as conquerors and failed. However they brought many modern techniques with them that have been cast off in favor of the traditional methods, either because Afghanistan can't support them on its own or because they don't want to have to work to support them. Every modern convenience comes with a cost as well; your washer and dryer are great, as long as you have electricity. I am sure I could think of one more example if pushed...

Old Doc Holiday, all of 19, will be departing our great province for leave, and then he is off to another exciting area of the country upon his return. He is truly a great soldier, clear headed under pressure, able to perform lifesaving tasks when most people would be shaking their heads. He is truly a credit both to him self and to the people who trained him to perform that way. We will miss him here, and be lucky to get someone equal to him.

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