yeah, i'm still in afghanistan. no r & r for me. my commander said no.
which is too bad, because i really miss that german beer.
yeah things are alright over here. folks are a little grumpy about this
whole christmas deployment thing.
below, i'm pasting a mass email that i never sent out. it pretty much sums
how i feel about being here during the holidays.
take care bro,
we've got a tree here with lights and candy canes, but a lot of the guys are
getting REALLY bitchy as the holiday approaches. on top of that, AFN (armed
forces network) has been airing these commercials from the air force and
navy about how nice it is to spend the holidays with one's family. these
spots usually elicit quite a few "fuck you"s and "eat shit"s.
yeah, it's been quite exciting here. there's still a war going on; primarily
a helicopter and light ground force (SOF [special operations forces] or
light infantry) war. i've been out on a couple of escort missions to recover
humvee wreckages caused by IED's placed outside of villages in the
mountains. the chinook (the big banana looking helicopter known as the
CH-47) guys lost two aircraft during a large operation, but luckily all
those onboard were able to get out of the area safely.
overall, task force storm has been extremely successful. and our civil
military operations have been making a major impact...the stuff that the
press rarely writes about. we've been quite active in helmand province (the
area with the recent taliban attacks on schools) and are generally very well
received by the locals for these efforts.
other than flying my butt off and drinking lots of near-beer (at least
one-a-day), i haven't been doing much else. everyone here basically reads
maxim, fhm, stuff and victoria's secret catalogues, and it's sometimes a
challenge to force myself to read something real. tonight i was able to
sneak in a couple of movies (kiyoshi kurosawa's "cure" which was good, and
jackie chan's "the myth" which wasn't so good) and watched them on QRF
(quick reaction force). as the name sort of implies, we usually only fly on
QRF if there's some sort of urgent situation somewhere. lately, though, the
QRF has been getting a lot of pre-planned missions and hand-me-down jobs.
luckily, tonight was one of those nights where all i had to do was sweep the
floor and smoke cigarettes.
we could get the QRF call at any second, and when we do, it's adrenaline
overload...all hell breaks loose. what the attack helicopters do here is
great. we protect the medevac birds, the CH-47's and the UH-60's on a daily
basis. the most rewarding, though, is when we get called in on a TIC (troops
in contact). this is when we provide CAS (close air support) for ground
troops in contact with the enemy. we constantly have young infantry soldiers
come in to our CP and express their gratitude for helping them out of some
the cold is rolling in for the winter, and we're hoping that the bad guys
will go south until spring. unfortunately, it looks like some of these guys
want to stay and fight...they really don't have anything else to do. the
chechnyans and the mujahideen veterans never found new hobbies after their
wars against the soviets/russians. fighting is their justification for
living. fighting is their path to prestige and privilege. fighting is the
only thing they know.
AND THAT'S THE REASON I DON'T MIND BEING HERE DURING CHRISTMAS. our presence
is still needed here.
Looks like it is still somewhat hot there.