Thursday, May 29, 2008

Leave Has Started

It’s almost June, a full three months in to my time here in Paktya province, and leave has been going on for about a month now. For those who don’t know, or who haven’t talked to me lately, leave is a 15 day break from Afghanistan. You can go home, or to anywhere else in world for that matter, and just recharge the batteries. It’s a nice little program that Uncle Sam has set up. One of our guys went home to see his newborn son, he and his wife’s first child. Another guy went to Australia as a vacation that he may not have ever had the chance to go on. Some people have road trips planned, and some people still don’t know what they plan to do, and this fine.

However, as nice as it is for those on leave, inherently some people still here, have to pick up the slack. But you get the sense that there are no hard feelings about that at all, because we know that soon it will be our time.

Thank you and God Bless

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Long Pause

Once again it has been far too long between blog posts, and as usual I am going to use the old excuse that I have been very busy. However, more to the point is that I spent all of last week stuck at Bagram. Honestly though, if I had to get suck anywhere in Afghanistan, it would be Bagram Airfield. It initially started as an administrative trip, to do some odds and ends that needed to be done at a larger base. But after multiple days of cancelled flights, it turned into a glut-fest, with multiple stops at Burger King, DQ, Green Bean Coffee and Baskin Robins, all of which are not at Gardez. That was fun for a while but eating can only occupy so much of your day, and the rest of time I was floating around on a base that wasn’t mine and that had no real use for me. I joked about stopping by the civil engineer squadron and seeing if they needed any help (that was never more than a joke for sure).

However, I am now back in Gardez and getting back into the flow of real life, not BAF life. I’m back to hiking to the bathroom, eating the lousy food and doing work, but most of all I’m back to my little part of Afghanistan.

Thank you and God Bless.

Friday, May 2, 2008


Another week has passed, and I have taken a while to write again. Lately I have been staying pretty busy and also finding it hard to write about what has become so day to day. When I started the blog everything was so new and exciting, and not that it’s a grind now, but it just doesn’t seem as easy to write about anymore.

I spent all this week out on the road, visiting different Afghan villages. That is mostly what I do now. When I first got here I mainly looked at ongoing projects to make sure they were being built properly, we call those QA mission (Quality Assurance missions). However, now I mostly go out with the Army Civil Affairs (CA) guys as they do assessments of the villages. These are more or less meet and greets, where the CA finds out the needs of the village, and then works with the village elders and the district governor to fix the problem. I come into play if the solution involves a construction project. If it does I get the ball rolling on putting that project in the pipeline to get constructed.

I’m not sure which missions I like more, or less. The QA missions are fast and easy because they are fairly cut and dry. If the construction is good, well then I move on, and if it’s not, they have to fix it. The CA missions end up being quite nebulous most of the time. It may be an irrigation structure, or school, or a bridge, but there is almost never agreement between all parties. Furthermore, some problems are solved without construction and some assessments made without engineer input (imagine that!), leaving me, just along for the ride. Either way, both missions make the time go by, so I guess I like them both… I guess.

Thank you and God Bless.