Thursday, August 27, 2009

Leaving

"Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler." - attributed to Einstein
Eventually everyone's time to go home comes and ours finally did. At last, we're on our way out...but it's tough to get too excited about it when the process is going to take up to two weeks. We turned things over to the new team, and they'll begin going through all the things we went through. With the ANA you have to wonder if they purposely hit the rewind button when a new team arrives. By that I mean, the suspicion exists that the ANA play down their abilities for new ETTs in the hopes that the new guys will coddle them and not demand as much of them as they are capable of giving; let the new guys think you're incapable and maybe they won't ask much of you; show how pathetic and helpless you are and maybe they'll buy and give you more stuff. I won't personally say I saw much of that type of behavior, but I did hear of it from others and it would fit right in with what I know about the ANA.

At any rate, the new team will do just fine. They'll find their own way, which will be different from ours in some respects. As for the ANA, I'll miss some of them, no question. They do have some very good people. I'll miss my terps more though. It was hard not to feel like we were abandoning the terps as we said our goodbyes. Afghanistan is their country though, so can't feel too sorry for them that they have to stay. Afghanistan needs bright young men like our interpreters (who tend to see things more our way than the ANA ever did) to help reshape the country.

For now, we'll sit at Bagram and wait for a flight. The time waiting will be primarily spent sleeping, eating, weightlifting, and card-playing. We've already been here several days and we've no firm word on when we'll actually leave. Hopefully we'll be back in Hawaii in a week or so.

5 comments:

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 08/27/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

David W said...

Pog-tastic!!

Hank said...

Hello Kirby
Glad to hear that you are no longer a short timer, but are actually departing for the USA.
I have enjoyed your postings. Your writing is easily read, informative and often thought provoking.
As you have cited in your posts, a number of factors have hindered your team's efforts --lack of a viable economy, unstable central government, cultural obstacles, indifference by the ANA, etc. -- but do not forget that one major objective was obtained. No terrorist attack was launched against the US. This is no small item. Were it not for the efforts of the military in Iraq and Afghanistan then terrorist violence surely would visit our country again.

Please remember that many people who you do not know, nor will ever meet, are grateful. Thank you for your efforts, sacrifice and devotion to duty.

With Abiding Respect

Hank

Anonymous said...

Glad you have one leg started out of there - will be glad when the other leg gets in sync and you get that much needed r and r. Look forward to seeing you when possible.
M.H.

Anonymous said...

Well, this sure was good news. Been kind of waiting to hear where you would land to get on out of "Stan." Surely enjoyed this blog, as always. I'll be looking up Bagram on the map again. SA