Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving 2006 Afghanistan

Today I woke up feeling pretty good, a condition that lasted approximately 30 minutes. Three of our ANA Soldiers were on their way to relieve the guards at a checkpoint. On the way up to that location they tripped an IED that was emplaced the night previously in the loose dirt. The IED destroyed the truck, and wounded all three soldiers. The soldier in the back of the truck lived long enough to get back to the battalion aide station, but had suffered too much internal damage, along with lacerations from the blast to survive. We ended up following the ambulance up to Herat which is a fair distance by car. As of the last information the second soldier was being operated on for lacerations to his liver or kidney. The driver has a strained tendon in his hand. The truck is on the scrap heap.

Fortunately I don't actually know the soldiers who were in the truck, to the best of my knowledge right now. It wasn't my company that was hit, and I feel like it would be inappropriate to go look at the guys as they are being treated, to satisfy my own curiosity. They deserve more respect than that.

The day in Herat was well spent, we picked up the things we needed to pick up, and as luck would have it, the 10,000 lbs of mail finally broke loose from Bagram and I received mail along with the rest of my team, for the first time in a month.

It has been getting down into the mid 30's at night here, and today it never truly warmed up, although in the sun it actually felt like it might have for a little while around 2 pm this afternoon.

I found out today that a couple of people I used to know fairly well decided to try suicide as an option. Fortunately neither was successful. It causes me to reflect though; both ladies were so completely captivating to me when I was in my early twenties, full of life, and humor and kindness. They were also very attractive to me, and to be fair 90 percent of the male population who shared the sense of sight. I wonder how a person gets that far down. Then of course I realize that I just have no clue as to how their life is now or really how it ever has been. We all have an image that we construct for the viewing public, for those of us who are lucky our self image and our construct is close to the same thing. For others, it may be vastly different.

Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving for us in the United States of America, I am going to say that I am truly thankful for my family, and my friends, many of whom read this. It means a lot to me to be able to communicate with you, some of you send things for the Afghans, some send me emails telling me that you care, some of you have no idea how much I admire you. This experience has taken me away from my lovely wife and children whom I love tons and tons, and feel a great responsibility for both their physical and mental well being. At the same time, it has given me experiences here I would never have had, and actually brought me closer to many in my family who have primarily been names to me. It is quite interesting to me that the distinct branches of my family truly run to type. It goes beyond looks and into how brothers and sisters, most of who are my parents or aunts and uncles share a sense of humor and or a common view of the world.

In addition to my extended family I have received correspondence from people all over the United States. Not hundreds, but getting there. That helps me to continue to work here in an even handed way.

Okay, I have gone on long enough, suffice it to say: thank you for your love and concern, thoughts and prayers. I know that no matter what my circumstances, I am blessed beyond words in many ways, and if I avoid looking for something to complain about I can concentrate on what I have, and appreciate my life with you all for what it is.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving, and a terrific Christmas and New Year.


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