Monday, December 28, 2009

What is war anyway?

First, you have to understand that I cannot post everything that I am doing here in Afghanistan. In order to protect our soldiers abroad I have to limit my discussion of what is happening out here to general terms and circumstances.

I have been in Afghanistan for about two weeks and needless to stay there wasn't any sort of "integration" process. You have to learn fast. In the short time here I have seen things that you would only think occur in movies or in vivid dreams. Afghanistan is a hard country, but it still retains a rough beauty and certain hospitality that is a direct contradiction from the utter ruthlessness from which this war is being waged.

I have sat down and talked with multiple Afghani's and one thing holds true with all of them. They carry an ancient sense of identity despite cell phones and the billions of dollars that is associated with modern warfare. Pashto is a language that rolls of the tongue in waves with deliberate pauses and emphasis so that you almost feel the words.

I won't pretend to know the secret of the conflict or even attempt to slap a simple understanding on the problems that have ancient roots. But I feel this place is a poster child for the have's and the have-nots. There are simply a lot of have-nots surrounded by cunning individuals that seek to exploit the situation for whatever end. I can tell you however that the US is bending over backward to return Afghanistan to Afghanis. And that is not just lip service.

I am proud to say that all my men are learning quickly and are all team players. Whether it is burning shit (yes we have to do it to maintain sanitation when we are out in the wilderness) or sitting on guard for hours on end while staring into the dark abyss of a mountain at 4 am. My only hope is to keep each other fresh and avoid a dangerous complaciancy.

Not to give to much away, but this was by far, the most interesting Christmas to date!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Travel takes a toll on the body and mind. Travel with the army is liking running over the body and mind with a train. I am currently "in transit" in Afghanistan and have been so for several days now. I cannot reveal locations and times, but suffice to say I have been through a rollercoaster. A diverted flight here, 11 hour time change there, constant morning (or what I think early morning) movements just to find our aircraft was canceled. I have been traveling for a week exactly and I still am on 3/4 of the way to my final destination.

Some of the places in Afghanistan are wild. And not in the "exotic" wild. I mean the "ability to export modern society to any corner of the globe" wild. I packed expecting to be in the hinterlands devoid of all sense of civilization. There is Burger King, Dairy Queen, Hair stylists, and even Salsa night. Now these things are at the big bases which is far from where I will be stationed. But it is still amazing how we as Americans and as the modern world are able to export or society despite the terrain, location, and fact that there is a war on-going.

I am sure it will be easier once we get settled into our actual positions down range. Right now its like waiting in the terminal at the airport. With a weapon and way to much gear.