There’s nothing easy about traveling in and out of a war zone. After 48 hours with zero sleep and lots of hurry up and wait, I finally made it to Kuwait early Friday morning. It feels good to be out of Afghanistan. It will be even better when I finally get to see Janie this weekend!
I am currently on R&R. Please enjoy the silence. I know I will.
I continue to be amazed at the responsibilities placed on the young children in Afghanistan. This boy, I would say he is probably 6 or 7 years old, was traveling with these two donkey’s along our route today. I’m not sure what the donkey’s are carrying, but the boy’s father probably has a good use for it.
Today I completed my 100th combat mission in Afghanistan. It’s hard to believe its been that many. It’s also ironic that I hit the century mark right before my R&R. Today we went on a 4 mile foot patrol from Camp Phoenix to an Afghan National Police outpost near the Kabul River. It was one of the longest patrols we’ve been on this year. We met with the ANP to review their plan for securing their sector during this weekend’s national election. I hope they get it right. The Afghan people deserve to go to the polls unfettered by the anti-democratic and hostile Taliban.
Today we met with elders from the Hud Kheel village to review the polling places for this week’s national election in Afghanistan. The elder on my right is Haji Mozamal. He is running for Parliament (Their version of Congress). The elder on my left is Abjab Gul. He is a former Mujahedin that fought the Russians in the 1980′s. Afghan’s go to the polls on September 18 to exercise their right to vote.
On 9/11 I raised an American Flag at Camp Phoenix in honor of my son Tucker. Even at age 6 he understands more about the sacrifice that comes with freedom than most kids twice his age. When I get home I will present him with this flag as an appreciation for his service this year. Tuck is an example that you’re never too young to serve your country.
We come across so many children who need medical attention. Most of the families do not have access to clinics and doctors. They either go without aid or hope that someone comes along to help them. The other day while on a foot patrol we came across this small child who had a bad cut on his ankle. Of course, we stopped to help. We always do. Pictured is our medic, Spc. Menzie, bandaging the boy’s foot and ankle. You can see the anguish and pain in the child’s face. You’ll never find the Taliban helping the Afghan people like this. Again, another difference between us and them.