Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Its been a while..

It’s been a while since I have blogged.. I just wasn’t in the mode..

I have made several trips since my last entry, so I will just list them..

Harat, Kandahar, Marmul/Mesar-e-Sharif (MES), Camp Spann


Last time I went to Kandahar, I again, got to take a private plane.. it was pretty neat and so much more comfortable than the normal C-17/C-130 flights..


My last trip was about a week to MES and Camp Spann.  I travelled with a battle buddy that I met in training (we work together over here) Trisha.  We were able to take our first Blackhawk Helo ride together.. that was pretty awesome!! We again took one coming back..  


All these places I travel to, look the same.


There are no brilliant colors over here.. it’s almost as if you become color blind, and all the colors you do see are in shades of gray.. I can’t explain it any better than that.  Its funny, most people that I have met and have already re-deployed (gone home) have told me one of the fascinating things is how bright colors are back home.  I think we just get programmed and don’t notice that we are not seeing color in its full capacity, due to the desert colors we regularly see here, and all over theater.  Between the lack of colors, sand and rocks, green grass will be a welcome sight!


Due to my job, I am now being required to travel about 4 times a month.  What once used to be a terrifying thought to me, has now become something I depend on, something I can’t wait for – because, quite honestly, the traveling part of my job, makes the time move soo much faster for me.  I have been here almost 7 months now.. gone from home almost 8 months. 


I have done a lot in the last month, between the traveling, meeting new people, and setting new goals..

I have met people that I have been working with in theater for quite some time, and it’s always nice to put a face to a name..


I have said goodbye to another crew member who redeployed today, trained a new team, and welcomed a new member.


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(Some of the old.. with the new)



MSgt Gardner, SSgt Devi (9/11/2010)


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SSgt Buske & SSgt Banister





This is my new team as of today.  I will again, say good bye to all of them, except MSgt Tate (far right in the back) before I leave.  He will be here for a while after myself, but the others

Will redeploy home a couple months before I leave.  Its bittersweet when you say good bye – because even though you’ve only worked together for 6 months,

Here, as I have eluded to before, we build bonds much quicker.  Our emotions are on over drive here, everything is heightened when it comes to personal relationships..

People are coming and going every day, people are dying every day, and I think this atmosphere, even here at NKC where the activity is next to null, the bonds are still as intense.

I said goodbye yesterday to a dear friend, whom I did not have near enough time with.  She will definitely be missed!  I am sure, absolutely positive, there will be more good-byes to follow,

Before it’s my turn to leave, I can only hope that I have made a positive impact on other’s lives, as they have had on mine.


I am still trying to plan for my trip to Germany and the states… its becoming a major pain in the butt, BUT, it will be well worth it… any time away – where I am not carrying a 9M, wearing ACUs, will be welcome time away. 


I have finally gotten over the NKC crud – with a minor cough at night still lingering, but, I believe that will be for the duration.  The Afghans are constantly burning everything.. EVERYTHING from waste to body waste – to provide their heat – during this cold season.. what that means for us, is there is a constant fill of smoke in the air.. almost as if we were breathing in smoke from a fireplace 24/7 – which, we are, its just a lot different material being burnt.. Definitely not healthy for us to breathe in, I’m sure.  I have not been able to kick the cough I caught when I was sick.. Its not near as bad as it used to be, but I don’t foresee it getting better until the cold season is over.   


We have been decorating the office spaces.. What originally started as a Door Decorating Contest – well, became more.. Yes.. I am an overachiever – so my office has decorated 4 doors and the entire space in our little corner..

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That is the sum of our holiday spirit.. J That sad thing is, after all that, the COL decided she like our creativity and asked us to do her door too…

Needless to say, our creative juices are drying up and I will be glad to be done with the decorating!



I will travel again this week… and tell you about it later… but it will be a few locations.. in about a weeks time.. and I will be home in time for Christmas.


Its kinda funny, people ask, are you going to be gone for Christmas.. my answer is.. “I’m already gone for Christmas..” so what does it matter.. LOL

Its true – although, this is “Home” for the next 5 months (the last 7) and its funny how we all look at “Home” being the center piece, the stable ground to be at for any and all holidays..


Its been a long haul so far.. but I have to say, I don’t regret any of it.  I am looking forward to the next 5 months flying by, I hope, as the first 7 have.

My relief has already been identified and will be in theater sooner than expected.. that is always good news!


These last couple weeks have been busier than normal.. Unfortunately there are an average of about 10-14 deaths a week.  Just keep my cell in mind, as you see those Fallen Heroes Reports on TV.  Each and every person you hear about in Afghanistan, we.. my office.. has processed that report and are still processing that deceased case.  It’s a sad reality of war, and sometimes hard to read about, but even harder when we see the reports on TV as well.  It tends to make it more “real” puts a “human” face to a name.. and shows family, friends, emotions, and ceremonies that are difficult to watch, knowing we processed that report.  Its easier processing the reports – without the visual, without the added info, and without putting that face.. to the name.. keep my Casualty Cell Crew in your prayers!


I hope everyone out there has a safe and happy holiday season! We all appreciate the support we have been given from all those back at home!



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Caveats: FOUO