It’s Raining…

23 March 2013

It is raining outside currently and has been for about the last 36 hours. It makes a comforting sound as it falls on the tents at night. Needless to say, I got some good sleep last night. Not much is going on here as we enter the sixth month of our deployment. Even as I type this it is hard to imagine that we have been gone for that long. Getting over the hump of the half-way point came and went with little fan-fare.

I spend most of my days now making sure that everyone stays focused. Things are becoming redundant around here. Chow, operations, and every day activities are the same…. Groundhogs day… This time of the deployment, to me, is the most dangerous. Soldiers get into a groove and start to become complacent. No fault of their own, its human nature. This is the portion of the deployment where I become extra picky about everything, even though some of my Soldiers may think it isn’t possible. We need to keep our heads in the game as we enter the fighting season.

We are starting to see more action out in sector as we turn more of our operations over to the Afghanistan National Army (ANA). I walked into the TOC the other night while some of our ANA partners were in contact. “What’s going on?” I asked the Battle Captain. “ANA are in contact” he replied. “Good” was the next thing out of my mouth. The Battle Captain and our Intelligence officer snapped their heads around and gave me a look that could freeze water.

I stand by what I said. I want the ANA in contact. I want THEM to be out in sector killing the Taliban, not us. That’s what we are here to do. Our job was to train and equip the ANA to run this place on their own. If we do nothing but sit on the FOB, eat, drink and be merry, I am fine with that. We have been in contact a few times the last week and my first question has always been the same: “What are the ANA doing?”

I apologize for the lack of updates from down range, but nothing is really happening that I can write about. I am going to start on my book, at least the first chapter or two. I may post it next.

Support from home has been great. I continue to receive boxes of goodies from everyone that has adopted our Troop. It is much appreciated!

Let me know in the comments if there is anything that you would like to know about my deployment, life in the Army, or anything else! Thank you for taking the time to read this!

2 thoughts on “It’s Raining…

  1. Another engaging story, thanks. Now you are in the Ground Hog zone, which is a challenging time for any writer, and I think you are up to the task. Since you hail from Ft. Lewis, want to let you know I have a brother serving at Madigan as an OR tech. He has served in Iraq and last fall was promoted from Specialist to Sergeant. BTW, I found this webpage on an army web site which gives brief job descriptions for each rank. They seem a bit idealized. I do know that in real life, there is the ideal, and then the real. Would enjoy any comments you might have.
    Blessings to you and your troops!

  2. First of all ….. rain? Seriously, that place looks like it hasn’t seen rain since Noah built the ark. I guess I learned something new.

    I learn alot by reading your blog.I believe that it’s every American’s responsibility to inform themselves about the war and the people fighting it. That includes reading about strategy, news reports (least realiable source of good info), documentaries (some good ones out there) and now TV military reality shows with embedded journalists. But the most important of all is reading and learning from people who are on the line, doing the hard dirty work. You have insights that NO ONE else can provide.

    Recently I watched a documentary called Hell and Back which follows a Marine during his deployment and also when he returns home wounded. The ONE scene that stood out in my mind (having read lots about our mission over there) was when they were out patrolling with the ANA. The contrast between our highly trained, motivated and mature soldiers and the ANA was stunning to say the least. And, in this piece that you have written I was drawn to the exchange between you and the Battle Captain. It had me saying, “RIGHT ON, First Sergeant!” That’s why we are there, to prepare and actually PUSH the ANA to their task if necessary (as in the documentary).

    Anyway, my question to is, what do you think is the biggest misconception people have about the military? What’s the most important thing you want us to know about you and your soldiers?

    Thank you for your service. A box is on it’s way for your men.

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