Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ups downs

There are plenty of ups and downs here, and not just when you're climbing around in the mountains. They tell you coming out here that you'll come out strong that first few months - all motivated to make the world a better place. And it's true. I think we all had a feeling of great optimism upon arrival - a feeling that gradually dissipated into disgust and disappointment about halfway through our nine-month deployment. Dealing with the ANA is hard sometimes. I think I've documented that pretty well throughout this blog.... You're warned that these feelings of disappointment and frustration with the local inhabitants and culture will get to you eventually, and it most certainly did, though it never stopped us from doing our jobs and doing them well.

They say those negative feelings about all things Afghan will stay with you until near the end of the deployment when you'll hit a kind of second wind. I have to say, whoever "they" were that made all these prognostications based upon what others have experienced was right again, as I find myself trying to really savor every moment as things wind down. I'm really going to miss a lot of things about this experience, including those little moments like when the ANA were trying to laminate their personnel charts with plastic wrap, and how when we gave them some lamination paper they proceeded to laminate everything they could get their hands on, including their phones.

We've still got a ton of work left to do, especially with the elections coming up, but with the new guys starting to trickle in it's now become hard to avoid the realization that we'll be leaving soon.


Taylor at ULM said...

Dear Soldier,
I am the Managing Editor of University Link Magazine, an edgy, fun, socially conscious 100-page campus glossy (with an 18-24 year old demographic). We launched on a subscription basis in April 2009 with Jimmy Fallon on our cover, May featured Kendra Wilkinson and Jack Black topped our June issue.
We have a section for our October issue featuring interesting bloggers writing from the war fronts, and have selected your blog as one of special interest. We are now looking to add photographs to this section.
If you are interested in seeing some of your photographs published in our magazine, please contact me at:
Thank you for reading this email and for possibly sending us photographs. Most of all, thank you for your service.

Anonymous said...

I,too, thank you for your service to our country and your wonderful insights, which most of us would never experience. It has been an education, without the classroom to read your blog and feel some of your feelings. Thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

Your insight and humor in your blog entries help those of us here in the mainland appreciate the work you are doing there, and the adversity you face daily with the cultural differences. Thank you for your service to the people of Afghanistan and our nation.

brownd said...

I am researching the area in which my husband is being deployed, and came upon your blog. It was very interesting reading what you had to say about your deployment in Afghanistan. It helped me get a better understanding of what kind of a situation he will be in when he gets there. (I do understand it is constantly changing) Thank you for your service.