Thursday, November 11, 2010

A copy of the original message with attachments will be sent with this email.
Subject: So there I was.... (UNCLASSIFIED)
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2010 19:27:13 +0430

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: FOUO

                So, there I was, in Kandahar, a dust filled cesspool (literally) filling your nostrils with the unpleasant scent of human feces.  Yes.  We call it.. “The Pooh Pond”

It was day two of my trip, which each day is always anxiety ridden, awaiting for the sirens, attacks, and of course unpleasant odor which fills the air – especially when the wind blows.

Earlier in that day we had an incoming rocket, so the siren sounded, and we made our way to the bunkers.. but that was hours earlier.  Its now 1219, I’m laying on my  rack in the transient tent watching a movie on my iPod, **Boom**! I hear it.. an explosion.. I remove my earphones and listen again, looking down at my watch to see 1220 displayed.  I am thinking to myself “I wonder if the Alarm will sound” or worse yet “How long will it take.” Again, another Boom, and another.. This continues on for about 10 minutes – still no siren, and to my surprise, of all the females in the tent – NOT ONE of them stirred to the noise.  (Except Me).  I look at my watch again and now it’s 1229 – no siren.  Well, siren or not, I can’t lay there hearing explosions that sound like they are just behind my tent, so I quietly, but quickly, without panic, make my way outside.  My first thoughts are – I should call mom.. LOL (Right? .. I know.. I know..) But – I can’t help it.  As I am making my way outside I hear the gun fire.. and I’m not just talking single shots, I mean bursts.. a few of them.. LOUDLY… by now, I’m outside, speed dialing my Mommy.. cold, shivering, scared and just a complete UNEASY feeling washing over me. 

Now, let me remind you I am usually in a location that receives minimal action – certainly not the sounds of explosions nor gunfire… this is not a common occurrence to me, nor am I complacent in ANY way, shape or form.  I am, however, acutely aware of the casualties that come out of Kandahar and the incidents that occur daily..


Back to the story at hand… I dial my mom’s number, by now, its silent again.  I swear for the last 12 minutes it was non-stop.. had my mom been on the phone, she would have heard it..

Silence.  My mom answers, asks me what is wrong, I lie and say “nothing” of course, she realizes the time and say “what’s going on, can’t sleep?”  By now, the little girl in me comes out and I just want to cry.. I think I was more scared than I had been, since arriving in theater, and it was NOT a pleasant feeling.  So, I spew out to my mom, without thinking about her worry – and tell her what I heard, but that apparently its nothing to worry about because NO ONE stirred, no alarm sounded, and all was now quiet – However, I wasn’t going to trust anyone else’s complacency and made my way to the bunker.  We chatted, worriedly making small talk.. and I realize at this point it seems all clear on my end, but I probably sent a WORLD of worry my mom’s way.. and knew that when I hung up, she would worry through my night, and until she heard from me again.


Its crazy how we spend our whole young adult lives trying to get away from our parents, but once we are adults, wish we could make the appear in a snap..


Anyhow, so, my mom makes small talk with me for about 20 minutes, until my nerves unwind… and I feel a little more relaxed.. so we say our goodnights and NOW I am feeling REALLY bad and extremely guilty for calling her and now making her worry..

I lay in my rack, once again, this time a little more nervous..but eventually fall asleep…

The next morning, I make it in to the office and ask all – “Did you guys hear the explosions and gunfire last night”

To which the Major replies “Yeah- they just opened up a range over there a couple nights ago”


Yea… would’ve been nice to have some warning?

Friday, November 5, 2010

New day

I had a talk with GOD today...
A long much needed talk

I asked him to please help me...
To ease my burdens and heal the pains that were aching in my heart

I cried for a while last night, a relief, quite honestly
A stress relief, an emotional release

It's been a while since I've had a good cry
I felt so alone, I felt so sad
Yet I couldn't understand why

Why something so small, seemed so huge...
But, then I realized, as previously mentioned...
Out here, our emotions are on over drive,
Everything is heightened,
From your sense, your awareness, to your emotions
And sometimes, even the smallest of disappointments can seem like the biggest
Something, that if, quite honestly, had happened back home, wouldn't have been a big deal, seemed like the biggest of let downs...
But, it was not, it is not, and I just had to realize that
I can't control everything..( yeah, I know..big surprise...)
Imagine my
Really tho, I just had to take a step back, and realize why I am feeling the way I am, and what was really the cause..
It wasn't that minor disappointment, rather than the reality of missing home,
Missing a normal life, (heck..missing civilian did I mention wine? Yea, I miss that

Life is strange here for me...there are many days I feel soo grateful,
Because I know I have already made a difference here, no matter how small in comparison to those risking their life out in the fields,
I know, I have made a difference for them...I feel appreciated by my boss, which I am very thankful for and appreciated by many others for the work I provide, the work I do, the things I see, and deal with and the things I have created and done to streamline the proccess so that Every fallen hero is taken care from from the first steps in the process immediately following their injury or death.
I feel blessed to be a part of something that can and does make that difference. I know that what I have done here, so far, has already made a lasting impact that will be further reaching even after I redeploy. I have seen things, I will never want to see again, I have read reports for our heroes, that will haunt me till the day I die...but has made me much more grateful with abetted understanding of what we all go thru, and knowing that it could be any of us here...and I am lucky.

Then there are days, that work aside, I feel lonely..the kind of lonely that work achievements can not fix...
And when I feel that, I have learned that really, a good cry, a few vented emotions, and a long talk with GOD heals my wounds...holds me tight, and peals away the lonely layers that try to smother me..

When I woke up this afternoon, these great words came to my head...
So I wanted to share them with you..

Turn over your fears, let go of your tears
I will bear the pain
For you, my love, are in my heart
From the moment you knew my name

Give me your troubles, push away your doubts
And i will lead the way
Tomorrow, my child, will be brand new
A bright, and loving day

Thursday, November 4, 2010



This last week has been pretty busy. I started crocheting again, making some things for the babies here in the local hospitals, and will eventually travel to deliver the things we have made. It feels worthwhile. ;)

Friday, I received an email from the states, requesting me to attend a big exercise for casualty personnel, in Massachusetts. I was pretty excited about this, because I was requesting to go and train the trainers in Ft Jackson, SC, because we have HR personnel that are showing up, without enough training for this job. So, we are revamping their training pipeline. In the interim, I have been asked to present my casualty seminar to more than 700 HR folks during a big annual exercise they conduct. Training 30 people, is a great feeling, training 700 is an outstanding and exciting offer, that of course I could not refuse.

This week I also spent training a new group of casualty team members that will be reporting for our southern units. Subsequently, I was asked to travel down there and assist them with their setup and database they will be using (the one I created back in July). This is also a definite plus for me, in that General Petraeus likes my database, likes the reports he sees from it and therefore wants all the other units to use it as well, to maintain continuity. So, I will spend about a week in Kandahar, helping them out, and then go back to do some more training for the other units. ;)

Last night was Halloween. There were about 10 of us who dressed up, initially, then, the navy ( go navy!) put on a haunted house, that was definitely the hit of the night. It was a great morale booster, to feel normal for a brief moment in our extended time here. It was nice that even in a war zone, we can have a taste of home.

4 Nov 2010

As for me, I'm not feeling so great tonight...lots of stuff goin on upstairs, feeling a little lonely and missing my family, home and friends. I'm quite sad tonight, as I sit out here on my Friday night, (i know its only Thursday) with nothing better to do than blog...for a brief moment, I fit in, I felt like I belonged some where, but tonight, I'm not feeling that... Tonight, the chaos of life, work and social networking has caught the best of me, and quite honestly, it's brought me to tears...maybe I just need a good cry...maybe I just need to get that stiff upper lip, and not let something bother me soo much...

But somehow, it has....

Somehow it's gotten in my head, and I cant help but feel it, and the sadness it is bringing me...
I know, my friends will all say, it's ok, I can hear their remarks now, but the fact of the matter is..they are not here, living my life.. And I know they mean well, but, unfortunately those words of wisdom, those truths I need to hear, just aren't enough tonight, and my heart hurts...

Karma is a bitch... Because just when you think you have it figured out, and things start to get good, things start to look up, reality slaps me...and brings me back down to my reality...

My only question is why... Why not just let me be...let me be in peace... Karma...she's an ass kicker and my ass is sore already... I need a break...

I know..time heals all wounds and I have been blessed to find some peace here,with the one pain that was ever present..
I have been blessed that my heart was able to let go...and move forward....after a long period of grief.... My heart has mostly healed...
I am thankful that I was finally able to move beyond that..

Yet still, here I sit tonight, my head hung low, my heart feeling heavy and my emotions running high..


A tall, dark empty space somewhere inside that continues to try and reel me in.. Every so often it slaps me with it's dooming clouds and sends my emotions in a battle.....sometimes, the dark clouds overcome me....
I think I just need a good

I will be fine..I'm just venting... Tomorrow will be better ;)

Being out here kinda puts life in perspective, makes you rethink things you once would never question, makes you realize what you are, or even who you are....funny how when you are separated from all that you love, how it can change you,

For the most part, change is good....reevaluating life in your mid thirties isn't such a horrible thing, it can just get lonely sometimes...
I really miss just chilling out, chatting with friends, with a big glass of wine, and no bigger care in the world than what I was cooking for dinner, or who's homework needed to be done, including my own...

Out here, I feel like I am living two lives....the one back home, that I am not present for... And the one here,
Amongst ore people, in my same predicament, but yet our lives still get intermingled, and they become family here...friends here...
If you think maintenance on a friendship back home is hard, one that you are there for, try maintaining those, as well as the present ones, the ones you are actually present for, here. Who are you real friends...who are these people here...will they continue to be friend once you go home..back to your other reality....
The fact is, the understand like no one else, how your feeling, what your feeling and why you're feeling it...even if it's for no good reason...
They get it...because I think, no matter who will admit it, we all go thru this emotional roller coaster of loneliness...
I don't like this ride..

I'm heading out of town again this weekend, and maybe that's a good thing...get out, get away, and refresh...bury myself in the work that I enjoy doing, teaching...working databases, and just let my loneliness absorb into the dark space it came from...

I will win this battle...I do every time...I will every time...