sgtdub: March 2007

Saturday, March 31, 2007

31 March 2007, The last day of the month, yippee!! As many of you know, I've been here since June 21st, 2006. Many of you want to know when I'm going home. Well, wouldn't we all like to know that. I have a vague idea of when I'm leaving Afghanistan. The Army wants me to go to school upon returning to the states. It's only two weeks long so that isn't all that bad. I could have picked a better location, hehe. So where are they sending the non-infantry Sgt? Why, Ft. Bragg, N.C. Yep, the Infantry school headquarters for a non-infantry guy in a non-infantry school. Well, at least I'll be back in the states. Now, this is the Army, and for those of you who don't know, things always change, so I may be going to school or I may not be going. I don't know yet for sure. However, to err on the side of caution, let's say I will be home in OKC by June 25th 2007. Final count for that day is 85 days and a wake up. We are under 90.
Lt. S got a pre-fab desk for his little cubby hole so I put it together for him today. (The last thing he built crashed down on a Captain when someone threw a CD on it, no kidding).
It's been trying to rain all day and just started up a few minutes ago. Just like home. We have had a visitor here for the last couple of days, and I'll post about that tomorrow. Be safe and have a great day.

Friday, March 30, 2007

30 March 2007. Today we had a group of us go to the range and did some familiarization training on different weapons. Now, this has practical purposes and can be classified as training, but it was also fun.
I shot my M4

I shot an M4 that was fully automatic.

I shot a Heckler and Koch MP5.

I shot a Russian PKM machine gun.

I shot the American M249 machine gun.

And a few other weapons they had out there.

We managed to have a safe day, and a fun day. I will see about getting actual pictures some time in the future. Of course, besides the M4s, my favorite was the MP5. It is a sub-machine gun in 9mm, used by special forces, tactical police teams, security details with various government officials. I have shot one of these before back in OKC at the Police range. Mrs. Dub was there that day. She noticed my drooling and made the statement, "I suppose you want one of those now?" I told her I had always wanted one of those, at least for the last 6 years when I was able to see them up close at Ft. McClellan, Alabama when I went through Military Police training. It is an elegant piece. Mrs. Dub actually asked me how much they cost. This really threw me off track, but I told her around $3000. This of course, ended the conversation at that moment with her saying, " keep wishing then".

Now for everyone else, here's another picture for you. My shoes.

We returned to base after the training and I was able to check on my female interpreters to see how yesterday's mission went. They said they had a lot of people staring at them, but nobody said a word to them about how they were dressed. They were dressed in their more traditional clothing today. It decided to rain this afternoon, so I'm listening to it on my semi-tin roof, nice.
Be safe and have a great day.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mrs. Dub shares her shoe shopping experience with us at her site. While telling me of the experience I was envisioning Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with the Ice cream man. Read it and see for yourself.
29 March 2007, Today I did things differently. Yesterday I asked SSG G to trade me shifts today. I thought, hey, I want to sleep in. This meant I wouldn't have to be at work until 1200 hrs. Cool. Well, I woke up at 0530, got up at 0650. Called home like normal, checked some emails, went to the gym at 0800 and showered by 0905. At 0915 hrs, they started lining up at my connex door. By they, it was only one, but with him came a slew of phone calls, much more than normal. So, my day only got delayed by a couple of hours, but then I still had to stay a little later at the office. It was a busy but productive day.
I was down at the interpreter shack this morning helping PO B get them ready for a medical assistance mission. Our two female interpreters had a rough week. Today, they decided to start a revolution. Knowing they were going on this mission, they decided to wear short sleeve shirts exposing their arms up to the elbows. This is certainly taboo for Afghan women, I noticed it as soon as I walked into their office, so for a westerner to take notice of something like that, I can imagine the reviews they received out in the middle of a village. Well, I'll find out tomorrow how things went, but we didn't have to send the cavalry out to rescue them.
We had another attack yesterday here in Kabul. This one was a suicide bomber looking to attack an intelligence official. The target wasn't hurt but reports show up to 4 civilians were killed. This was the second attack in the last week. Last week we saw a U.S. Embassy convoy hit with only one person having any serious injuries.
Be safe and have a great day.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

28 March 2007, I thought I would share some pictures with you today. This is a jingle truck, sorry it's out of focus. The name comes from the fact that they hang small chains all around it so that it "jingles" while they drive. Don't ask me why.

We heard the bridge is out, do you see a bridge?

One of the projects we as international partners are trying to fix here, the roads, or lack of.

This is much better.

This is Pol - e - Charki village.

One of many friendly faces we saw on our trip today.
This trip is also good if you need to tenderize some meat, I felt quite tender afterwards. Be safe and have a great day.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

27 March 2007, I've got mail. A big shout out to the dispatchers at 911 in Oklahoma City. I received two boxes of goodies from them today. I thought I would go and list every one's names that wrote something to me, but that's quite a list and I would invariable miss one, so a big thank you to everyone back home, dispatchers and officers. I'm lucky to be supported by so many wonderful people. It seems my partners are ready for me to get back too, as the summer time is approaching and things get more interesting. I know you can't wait to start reading those stories. I tried to get one or two of the pictures they sent me, but I will have to try again tomorrow on it.
Today was a nice day. I spent the morning building a couple of cabinets for the interpreters to be able to lock some things up. We are still waiting on the buildings to be started as the old b-huts were bulldozed after the VBIED attack in January. Yes, there's that much red tape involved. To answer a question, yes, at times it has been much like babysitting. After two trips here, some are very dear friends to me. This afternoon we had a battle drill worked up to keep our security sharp. I got to play with grenade simulators, hehe, that's always fun. Make it go boom!
Really not much else to report, be safe and have a great day

Monday, March 26, 2007

26 March 2007, Why am I so late today? Is it because I'm looking for more hits knowing that if I delay myself you'll come back? or is it because I was actually busy and then decided that my time could be better spent reading your sites first? The world may never know, unless I left you a comment after reading your site, then you probably have a good idea which it was.
Anyway, I did have a busy day, first ranting at my interpreters for writing very nasty things in a book belonging to one of my female interpreters. As I have mentioned before women working jobs means that a man isn't and sometimes, my interpreters go back to the instruction and customs they have had for the last 1,000 years and forget who they are working for. I believe we came to an understanding.
Now, for an update on Shawn Gralla and the Daily Oklahoman. I was informed this last Friday that responses were published in the paper. The Daily Oklahoma decided to publish three and here they are:
Soldier grateful for Henry’s visit
In response to Shawn Gralla (Your Views, March 14): Some people tend to think that when the governor is out shaking hands with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, he’s not working. I have to say that’s a far cry from the truth. When you’ve been away from home for a year, it’s nice to have someone from the real world come by and shake your hand and let you know that you’re still appreciated. I was one of the soldiers Gov. Henry shook hands with; he even pinned a medal on my chest for my actions here in Afghanistan, and I have to say that every tax dollar I pay to Oklahoma was a small price to pay to have such a unique experience. I’m grateful that the governor took time out of his busy schedule to go to Washington and fight for the National Guard soldiers and then come over here to brighten our morale. I was never prouder to be an Oklahoman than when our governor flew across the big pond to visit the “Thunderbirds.” SPC Benjamin E. Walcutt, Camp Phoenix, Afghanistan
Yes, this is Ben's Life on my sidebar.
Henry in line
Shawn Gralla (Your Views, March 14) wrote that Gov. Brad Henry “wasn’t elected and isn’t paid by Oklahoma taxpayers to press the flesh and politic in international affairs in a war-torn country.” As the wife of a soldier in Baghdad, I was stunned by these comments. Showing support to our Oklahoma guardsmen who are serving dutifully and valiantly in Iraq is by no means “pressing the flesh” and “politicking.” As governor, Henry is in charge of the National Guard until it is pressed into federal service. I’m sure he feels responsible for them even though they are now under federal command. As a soldier’s wife, I appreciate his support. As a taxpayer, I feel it is completely in line with his duties as governor. Kelly Pindel, Norman
Doing his job
Shawn Gralla (Your Views, March 14) isn’t well informed about the duties of the governor. The governor is the commander in chief of the Oklahoma National Guard; therefore, he has an obligation to be aware and informed of the conditions in which his troops are asked to serve. My question is not why Gov. Henry went to Iraq but why he waited so long. Maj. L.D. Johnson, U.S.A.F. (Ret.), Mustang
All three were great responses. I was able to get my views out through this site, so I'm ok with that too. Be safe and have a great day.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

25 March 2007, Another Sunday ends another week here in Afghanistan. We had a good day today. Ron Simpson over at The Cluttered Eclectic Mind tagged me with the 7 songs I'm into meme. This would have been easier for just picking artists, but here we go.

I Cross My Heart - George Strait
This is a song that brings me closer to Mrs. Dub, I have several that make me think of the time we have had and will have when I'm home again.

You Do Your Thing - Montgomery Gentry
Just the first of a list of songs that get my patriotic blood pumping through my veins.
"I ain't tradin' in my family's safety
Just to save a little gas
And I'll pray to God any place, any time
And you can bet I'll pick up the phone if Uncle Sam calls me up
You do your thing, I'll do mine"
Beer For My Horses - Toby Keith
Just stepping up to the plate to answer the call and serve up justice to those doing wrong.
American By God's Amazing Grace - Luke Stricklin
"For the last twelve months I've had a new address, the neighborhood smells like sewerage and the streets are lined with trash. You never know what's gonna be the next thing to explode but unlike these people, I have another home. It breaks my heart to see these kids out on the streets walking barefoot through the trash, diggin' for something to eat. I give them what I got, just to let them know I care and I thank God it's not my son that's standing there"
This Cowboy's Hat - Chris LeDoux
You can say what you want but when you try to take something away from me, you might get more than what you bargained for, Chris speaks of an old hat that each symbol on it has meaning in his life about someone in his life. Respect it or leave it alone. (hmmm, I like that slogan)
Not Me - Keni Thomas
Pride, Honor, Integrity, these aren't just words to a soldier, they are a way of life...
"A young captain at attention, a star pin on his chest, He recalls the battle while the final roll call's read. They were the finest soldiers it was my privilege to lead, They deserve the medals the men who died, not me Not me, not me, I just did what i was called to do, you'd do the same if it was you, Not me, not me. The world becomes a better place when someone stands and leads the way, steps forward when they'd rather say not me"
Fightin' Words - Trace Adkins
So one slip of the tongue 'bout my dog
Or my woman
Or this country that I proudly serve
You'll see a side of me man
That you damn sure don't wanna
Cause them there's fightin' words
Excuse me
First amendment?
Son, the first amendment protects you from the government
Not from me
You can say whatever you want to out there
You come within reach of me
I'll exercise my right to give you a good ol' country ass whoopin'
Is what I'll do for you
By God
These are my songs, these are my views. Be safe and have a great day.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

24 March 2007, I hope everyone will be having a great weekend. It's been a busy day for me, but I'm getting several things done. I didn't get to have lunch on the deck today but I was at least outside for a couple of hours. My nap yesterday did mess with me a little last night trying to sleep, but I apparently got enough because I didn't have any problems today. As I was leaving the office today I noticed that WWE wrestling was on AFN so now I have it on in my room. Some of you are agreeing with me and others are wondering what the heck? Hey, wrestling is soap opera for men.
I've received many questions during the life of this blog and I thought I would answer some of them today.
Why don't I carry a side arm? Well, the Army for the most part issues just one weapon per soldier, depending on what their job is. The majority of Army personnel carry the M4 or M16A2. The M16A2 is the old style of long rifle used for some time. The M4 is the latest version that has a collapsible stock and shorter barrel, allowing it to be used in close quarters combat, buildings and such. Special detail or combat mission soldiers will also carry a Mossberg 500 12ga shotgun or a Beretta M9 pistol. Being a police officer I am comfortable with any of the above weapons, but only carry the M4. This one is mine.

What is your mission there? Task Force Phoenix's mission statement is to train the Afghanistan National Army. This is done in several stages, starting with basic training, NCO and Officer courses, then they move to the Embedded Training Teams. This is where Camp Phoenix comes in with putting training teams with graduating Kandaks or companies. These teams go down range to FOBs (Forward Operating Bases) and continue mentoring the Afghan Army while they conduct missions ranging from humanitarian assistance missions to cordon and searches for Taliban and Al-Qaeda. My particular job here at Camp Phoenix is part of the SECFOR (Security Forces) that provide security for the Camp and American FOBs downrange. The mission of training the Aghan Army is vital to this country taking ownership and self-governing. Although the Afghans know fighting, but teaching them control, leadership and cooperation is what will make this country stand on it's own.

Well, I guess two will do it for today. If you have any questions at all, feel free to ask, otherwise, be safe and have a great day.

Friday, March 23, 2007

23 March 2007, Happy Dance Friday!! Alas, I have no picture of happy dancing for you though. We enjoyed our third day in a row of nice weather and I can get use to sitting out in the sunshine for lunch. I've been taking off work at 1500 (3pm) again, which is my schedule here when I follow it. With these beautiful days I have been sitting in my room with the door open, allowing fresh sunshine and semi-fresh air in. I started on my post as soon as I got off today, however, the nap monster hit me and I decided to take a nap. Most of the time, a little 20 minute nap will do wonders for me. However, if it's a bad monster, it'll keep you there longer and when you do get up, (this time an hour later) you're left with that horrid headache and the feeling you will be up all night wide awake because of your folly. Naps are amazing, as a small kid you are forced to take them but hate doing so because so much is going on around you. As you get older, you start wanting to take them but can't as often.
Being Friday, it's steak and seafood night at the DFAC, you know what that means, PIZZA for me! I'm going to finish this post, run over to the PX, get my pepperoni pizza, come back to my little connex room, eat, drink (Coca Cola), read blogs, and finish Casino Royale 007. Two days ago, Mrs. Dub asked me if I had nay new movies here to watch and I said no. Now, I have this new James Bond, Scoop, and the Holiday waiting in line. Miss Dub has had spring break all week and has been enjoying her time off. Her last two posts this week have been about her wanting to get some pygmy goats. Here is your assignment, I'm looking for some good recipes for cooking goat. Yep, look through those Rachael Ray and Martha Stewart cook books, maybe even Al Rocker's BBQ book and tell me your favorite ways to fix goat. I'm also entertaining goat jerky. Well, that's all for today, be safe and have a great day.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

22 March 2007, Happy Thursday to everyone. I have had mixed opinions about today's post. On the one hand I was excited to be over my rants and soap boxes and could get back to whatever it is I am doing with this blog, on the second hand I was suppose to start on my Thinking Blogger Award post, but on the third hand, (how did I end up with three hands?) I saw a bit of Hannity and Colmes from last night and it got me a tad bit upset, warranting another soapbox/rant. However, I was unable to verify any more information on what I saw, (I try to work a little during the day too) So if you bear with me, I guess we will try to cover all three.
1. It was another gorgeous day here, and you can't say that too much, the sky was clear, the sun was warm, a light breeze, so nice I made three LTs go eat lunch outside again with me. Our jobs keep us indoors almost always and a day like today just needed to be exploited a bit. I've mentioned before that Kabul sits in a basin and is completely surrounded by mountains, but the pollution here can be so bad that not a mountain can be seen on most days. Today was not like that at all.

2. Let's switch it around a little and do the rant next. Apparently at the "peace" "anti-war" protests this last weekend in Oregon, a third group evolved. You see, we already had the pro-military, pro-war supporters, the pro-military, anti-war supporters, and now, we have the anti-military anti-war hate America pot-smoking culture burning effigy's of American soldiers and burning American flags. I am currently serving with the Oregon National Guard, and I have the feeling they may be the first victims of being spit upon by this low life degenerate group posing as Americans. What's worse is that they blended with the regular anti-war protest and I haven't seen anybody from them objecting to it. In fact, the person being interviewed on the national news program was sidestepping the point blank question completely by going back to the old "President Bush lied" President Bush lied" So that's why you want to see American troops die? There is no other way to interpret this sign, you can't say, "well, things just got out of hand" You can't say that you brought an American Soldier mannequin, a can of lighter fluid and a box of matches by accident.
3. The Thinking Blogger Award. This is catching on so fast that it's hard to keep up with. It all originated with ilker yoldas at The Thinking Blog, who picked 5 blogs that made him think rather than just answer a simple meme about what his favorite color is. From there, each new Awardee is to pick 5 also, and so on. I read many blogs everyday that I can, and picking just 5 would be a daunting task indeed. I also know that ones that I would have picked either nominated me or selected ones I would choose too. So to share the wealth here is the list:

Michael at The Wonderful World of Nothing. Michael has a way of taking a news piece we might have overlooked and turn it into a brilliant take on how it should have been perceived.
Christopher at The Conservative Cowboy. Christopher is a cowboy in Ohio, yes, Ohio, seems a little too north but he's there. He introduced me to The Cowboy Code and all things just and fair as well as supporting our hero's.
Teflon Don at Acute Politics. TD is serving with his unit in Iraq and besides giving us the news of what's happening in the war, he's a poet and thinker, quite a plate full for such a young man.
Dariana at Charmed and Dangerous. Take away her being a lawyer (I'm kidding) and she's a good egg. Dari is against the war in Iraq but does support the military. One reason I can be sure of this is because both of her sons are in the military and she boasts her motherly pride about both of them. We exchange comments back and forth, her last comment was I sounded like her son, even though we aren't that far apart in age ourselves.
This is where I should include Mrs. Dub, but she doesn't make me think, she tells me what to think, and that didn't fit the criteria.
Flag Gazer at Gazing at the Flag. Flag gazer started her site to support the military troops fighting today. Her site captures the triumphs and tragedy's of the war. With my rant today, Flag gazer lives in Oregon and although she isn't alone there, she certainly stands out in a crowd.
Congratulations, you won a
Should you choose to participate, please make sure you pass this list of rules to the blogs you are tagging. I thought it would be appropriate to include them with the meme.The participation rules are simple:
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.

Well I hope you managed to get to the end of the post, be safe and have a great day.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

21 march 2007, Happy New Year!! It's the Afghan New Year, and what year is it? 1386 as of today. We saw up to a thousand on the hillsides in Kabul today as they celebrated.
In other news, we had a thunderstorm last night. This was indeed exciting. You have heard me say it has rained, and rained, but that's all we get. Last night, we had lightening, thunder, crackling, and booming, it was refreshing and enjoyable. Today was clear and absolutely beautiful. In was so nice in fact that LT R and I went over to Subway and picked up lunch, then ate it on the outside deck there. We are office rats and don't' get to enjoy much sunshine. No offense Mimi.
I have been selected by two individuals, Mimi and Sarge Charlie to receive the Thinking Blogger Award. This was indeed an honor and I appreciate that so many come here. I will be addressing this more fully tomorrow and make my selection of those who get me to thinking.
I slept so well last night that I refused to get out of bed to go to the gym, so I will definitely have to go there tomorrow morning. Somebody make sure and place a wake up call to me.
Be safe and have a great day.

Monday, March 19, 2007

20 March 2007,
Yesterday was the anniversary of the start of the Iraqi War. I saw quite a bit of coverage on the number of deaths of American military personnel. In the 4 years of the war the total showed yesterday at 3202. Each death has meaning, but I thought I would compare that number to some others.

World War I We entered the war late but the number of deaths for American soldiers was 116,708 with 205,690 wounded.

World War II. The total American loss for the five years of conflict we withstood was 407,300 dead.

Korean War. 36,516 dead, 103,000 wounded, 8,142 MIA

Vietnam War. 58, 209 of our finest dead, 153,303 wounded.

Now some information for a couple of years in which the War on Terrorism has been unfolding in our lives. These statistics were gathered from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. I shall only include the age brackets of 21-44 as this covers the average age bracket of our military sector, the 18-21 group also included 16-18 so I did not want to use those numbers.
In 2003.
Motor Vehicle Accidents 17,767
Homicide 10,370
Suicide 13,679
Accidental Poisoning 10,886
Heart Disease 17,483
Malignant Neoplasms 20,045
Chronic Liver Disease 3,020
Stroke 3,043
Diabetes 2,049
HIV 7,059

The total American lives lost in these 10 ten causes is 105,401. In all ages motor vehicles killed 43,340 in the United States.
In 2004, 4,008 people died riding motorcycles in the United States, just a part of the 38,253 deaths on American roads and highways, while in 2005 4,315 were killed in motorcycle accidents.
The economic cost of traffic crashes per year since 2000 was estimated at 230.6 billion dollars. For the four years of the war that cost us $922.4 billion dollars, because Americans want to speed, run traffic control devices, and drive while being impaired.
Alcohol realted fatalities in 2004 was 16,694 and 2005 was 16,972.
Pedestrian deaths for 2004 and 2005 are 4,641 and 4,674.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta stated that 55 % of passenger vehicle occupants who died in2005 were not wearing their seat belts. That equate to 15,000 people a year. Were was the March on state and national capitals this weekend for the use of seat belts? Were is the outcry against tanning? The outreach for those who committed suicide?
Wikipedia was used as the source for the war numbers and NHTSA was used for the rest.
Despite all this, I still want you to be safe and have a great day.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

19 March 2007. This post actually started Sunday night at about 2300 hrs. I had been in bed for a little over an hour and hadn't fallen asleep. Mrs. Dub told me that if you're not asleep in the first twenty minutes you should get up. You know my story. My mind has been racing somewhat over several things, but one in particular I just needed to post about. I'm not really sure why.
About a month ago, I had a dream. Now, it wasn't exactly a Martin Luther King Jr. dream, (and I have heard that recently in another person's blog) but it was close. In my dream, I was running for the office of the Governor. Also running for Governor was Hillary Clinton. I'm not sure why she moved to Oklahoma or if I had moved to New York. Anyway, this was the main part and a subplot was an assassination plot against us both, but I'm not for sure why. Well, I woke up, went to work and checked my emails. (same day) I had received an email from Empress Bee, a very lovely lady living life to the fullest in Florida, (but at the moment has been ill for the last week, be sure and stop by her place and wish her well)
I checked my email from Bee and she had sent me this button.
As you can see, a dream followed by an email. I was stunned. I wrote back to Ms. Bee and told her of the dream. This was her reply.Of course, this made my day and I happily showed my button around to the office. Now this weekend.
Saturday, I was browsing my favorite blogs and stopped by David's site at Out in the Parking Lot. David is another Canadian I like checking on and enjoy reading his reviews for movies, his adventures and chili recipes when he posts them. Well, David did a Blog-rolling review of me to which I was very flattered. And in the middle of it he suggests a write in campaign to have me elected President in 2008.
I find all of this interesting because since I was 19, I wanted to run for office. At the time, and still very much today, I wanted to be an Oklahoman State Senator. My philosophy with the Army National Guard, with my job as a police officer, with the nation for that matter, is that it always seems that those that can make a difference for the better choose to stand on the sidelines and allow others to take the lead. This is one of the reasons I have stayed in the Guard. Now of course, President and even Governor seem like very lofty goals and I have never given much thought to either.
The Guard and the police department both give me the sense that I am making a difference for the better. Now the State of Oklahoma is doing pretty good, but it could do better, and our elected official to the U.S. Congress are some good folks, but could it be better. The question is, Can I do more? Now, I believe I am plenty capable of doing much more, but at what point would you change course to pursue another dream? This is all just food for thought and hopefully cleared my mind enough that I was able to go to sleep afterwards.
This morning at around 1035 hrs we had an IED attack on an Embassy convoy just about a mile down the road. Fortunately, no one in the convoy was seriously hurt and only one had to be transported outside the local area for medical treatment. From the pictures I saw, the crater was rather large. We haven't received a complete count of injured or killed on the Afghan side, the area is considered heavily trafficked by vehicles and local population. Camp Phoenix responded with medical evacuation, security and recovery.
Be safe and have a great day.
18 March 2007, Well, a nice quiet Sunday is almost over now. It's been drizzling/raining most of the day. We got our black boxes packed, inspected and placed in the connex this morning. This did open up enough room in my room for another smaller box to go under my bed. Over the next two months I will begin dwindling down my collection of.....well, everything. I'm a pack-rat and I've been in the Army long enough to know that if I don't already have it with me and I need it, the Army won't have any left. So I pack just about everything I can and bring it with me. I was taking out the kitchen sink to at home, but Mrs. Dub caught me and made me put it back.
For a while now I've been wanting to do more with this site but being a procrastinator doesn't help me any. I decided that I would start today, and I did, but Blogger ate the whole post and now I'm starting over. Darn you Blogger!! Here is my new edition.


Flag Gazer. Flag Gazer has been a true supporter of our troops, both here in Afghanistan and in Iraq. Her site is dedicated to almost entirely the troops. Recently this last week she was interviewed and an article published about her in the Oregonian. You can read it here. Flag Gazer has taken an interest in our mission here too, because she is from Oregon and Task Force Phoenix V has at the control of this mission the Oregon National Guard. A big thank you goes out to her for her support of us and we appreciate you very much.

Brownie Troop 3370. They come from Keller Texas, but just a couple of days ago we received several boxes of Girl Scout Cookies. Lt M has a sister in Keller who just happens to be a Brownie Troop leader. Everyone knows I love eating, even more than exercising. We took a picture to send to them and you can see I've already started enjoying the great taste of the Thank-you cookie they sent me.
Sarge Charlie and Sanni. A few days ago I did a post about a person writing my local newspaper voicing their displeasure with Governor Henry visiting the Oklahoman soldiers here and in Iraq. As you know, we did enjoy his visit tremendously. Well, Sanni and Sarge started doing some research and found Ms. Gralla in Norman, Oklahoma. Sanni felt that Ms. Gralla might have missed the mark just a bit and nominated her for the coveted Yellow Belly Sapsucker Award over at Charlie's place. Sarge couldn't think of any better person that day more deserving and bestowed to Ms. Gralla the award. Although I didn't intend for it to go that far, we have now learned some interesting things about Ms. Gralla. In my earlier post I mentioned asking what kind of education Ms. Gralla had received, come to find out she is a professor at the University of Oklahoma and is the one teaching our younger generations. I guess the joke is on me.
As always, be safe and have a great day.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

I picked this up from Callie Ann over at Scrappin...hehe it seems to fit.

Your Leprechaun Name Is:

Hairy Ettercap

17 March 2007, Happy St. Patrick's Day to all of you, whether you remember him for why he became a Saint to start with or because you like green beer. Today is also my Happy Dance Friday,(since a dunce in Oklahoma made me rant yesterday, I had to move my Happy Dance Friday to Saturday). If I was a smarter man, I would have a video clip for you of several people dancing yesterday. Instead I just have still pictures.
This is the referee during an intermission. He provides the entertainment during the breaks.
Yesterday we had a treat here at Camp Phoenix. The national sport of Afghanistan is Buzkashi. Buzkashi is a very old game that when translated means "goat grabbing". It is played on horse back. If you watched Rambo III, you saw him join in the game with the Mujehadeen fighters. The idea of the game is to take a dead goat or calf, after the head has been severed off, and take it from a starting circle to around a pole and back to your team's circle.
Each round or session ends with a scoring. The rider who scored comes to the gallery and receives the prize. The prize differs as each session is sponsored by the gallery. Money and fine clothes are the best gifts.

It is a very violent game with players hitting each other, horses turning over or charging at you. It had been arranged that the Kabul International team would come to camp and play on our field. The hats are made of wolf's fur as the hunter seeking the prey. The horses are some of the best looking animals in Afghanistan because they get fed well and treated probably better than the women here. In fact, women aren't even allowed to watch the sport at all. You ask about our female soldiers. Well, they are the exception because they aren't considered women by the local population. However, there were two local women that work as interpreters for me that got to go to the event and also actually got to ride some of the horses off to the side. This was indeed a treat for them, and they were very excited about being able to attend. It was fun watching a part of the culture of this country and the interaction we had with each other. Be safe and have a great day.

Friday, March 16, 2007

16 march 2007, This is my 200th post, I just passed 10,000 hits, (of course, I think 9,875 were from me) and I'm at just over 9 months of blogging. What do you think so far? I had a couple of different ideas for this post, of course, not too much thought, but I decided to go with a rant.
It seems some person took offense to Governor Henry visiting troops in Iraq and Afghanistan last week and wrote a letter to the editor of the Oklahoman. Here are his remarks:
"Get back to work, governor . . . how much did Gov. Henry's trip to Iraq cost? How much did Oklahoma taxpayers pay for this trip? How many Oklahoman soldiers did the governor shake hands with? What was the dollar cost per handshake? Henry was elected and is paid to guide the state of Oklahoma. He wasn't elected and isn't paid by Oklahoma taxpayers to press the flesh and politic in international affairs in a worn-torn country. Oklahoma taxpayers deserve more effect and results from the governor for their tax dollar here in Oklahoma. Henry should pay his own way and use his own time to visit Iraq. Get back to work, governor!" Shawn Gralla, Norman
Now, you really have to make an impression on me to start bad-mouthing you, and Shawn, congratulations, you made the list. Shawn, I'm not sure what they taught you in school, but you see, Governor Henry is the Governor of the state of Oklahoma. As such, Governor Henry is also the Commander in Chief of the Oklahoma National Guard, Army and Air Force. As citizen soldiers, we are tax-payers in Oklahoma, registered voters in Oklahoma, live and have families in Oklahoma. You see Shawn, we are Oklahomans. Shawn, you have the right and freedom to write nonsense without repercussions because we are here fighting, as so many other Americans have done in the past to keep freedom alive in the good ole U.S. of A. I sit here at my keyboard and I ponder quite a bit about what I am writing. Shawn, did you bother to think at all? No, I didn't think so. No, I believe you just went off spouting such dribble that you thought would make you feel better. Heck, maybe you didn't think you would actually get published. Well, you did. Now what are you going to do? Good luck in the future Shawn, as I am sure you need it.
Now, for everyone out there, I wasn't harsh at all in my response to the editors at the Oklahoman. I didn't call Shawn out as I did here. Why? Because as you might be able to tell from his letter, he isn't a very happy person, and anyone who knew him is hopefully already giving him grief over such a letter.
But Sgt Dub, how can you say Shawn isn't a happy person? Well, because typically people write editors of newspapers when they are mad. Shawn was. Now, it takes something to be mad about. Do you really think this is the only thing that upset Shawn and he just had to fix it to make his world perfect, me neither. Shawn has had many disappointments in his life and felt this was the only thing he could lash out at. Poor Shawn.
Now, because Shawn had to make me rant on a Happy Dance Friday, I have to postpone my Happy Dance Friday post till Saturday. We had some fun here on Camp today, I know Shawn, I shouldn't have fun while in a war zone, why don't you come visit me on your own dime and we can discuss it. So stop by tomorrow to see what was happening. Be safe and have a great day.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

15 March 2007, A gas heater in a gun powder store? Yes, see folks, I'm not the dimmest light bulb in the bunch. That's what the story is sounding like right now for downtown Kabul yesterday. It was a very quiet day and almost boring for me. At about noon I was ready for a nap. I came back to my connex after work and worked on my black box packing. What is a black box? A Stanley Mobile Job Chest that they purchased for us at the beginning of this deployment. It's a little larger than a foot locker and we are allowed to pack whatever personal items we wanted to bring with us. For the trip back it will mostly contain all my cold weather gear, of which I didn't wear any of it. Last trip here in 2003 they issued us a cold weather suit. It looked like a bear suit. I could have gotten a bear mask and had a costume for Halloween with it. I don't get cold very often, and it usually takes wind to make that happen. The wind doesn't blow very much at all during the winter. Of course, I'm almost reluctant now to ship anything with the Army after they lost two of my boxes on the trip over here. As I mentioned, they ship it by boat, which docks in Pakistan and then is driven here on jingle trucks. Well, a little band of thieves decided to detour the trucks and raid them. I was out about $1400 worth of personal stuff. All the paperwork was filled out back in September and I'm just waiting on the Army to settle with me.
I'm going to ab lab tonight and will try to get some cardio in first. Not much else to report today. Be safe and have a great day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

14 March 2007, Happy Wednesday everyone. I say happy, because I would sure like to be in a happy place today rather than here. From the get go this morning it's been busy. It seems everyone has wanted something done today and I was in the middle of it all.
At 0645 this morning, there was a large explosion downtown Kabul. Of course, everyone immediately jumps into action to try to find out what's going on. Reports start coming in from all over, it's the President's Palace, it's the ISAF Headquarters, it''s..... finally we start getting reports that it's a group of shops that sell gunpowder and weapons. Several of them linked together, had an accident which killed and injured locals in the vicinity. I find it amazing the amount of different and sometimes precise reports that come in. One was that it was a VBIED (vehicle borne ied) with the color and make of the vehicle, how many were injured and killed, but they couldn't give us a location. You can tell me all that but you don't know where????? Anyway, all of us are fine and were at no time in danger from the unfortunate accident.
From that point I had to install a lock on our office door to help keep the amount of traffic that try to enter our office anytime something goes bump, then several paperwork jobs fly in that needed done right then. It seems several of us were working on shorter fuses than normal. More than once I heard the phrases, "I'm not in the mood for this" or "this isn't the day to trifle with me", and sometimes they were coming from someone besides me. (disclaimer: I don't actually use the word "trifle" but I think someone did)
On a brighter note, some have asked if they could send me pictures for Major M. The answer is yes, the poor man can use all the pep he can get. The idea behind the window frame was to give him something to look at that could pull him into a happier place. Don't make them small or of lesser pixels, I blow them up to 19 x 25 inches and am looking for clearer resolutions at that size. As I change out the pictures, I will post the new one up here so everyone can enjoy it. Thanks.
On another brighter note, I was asked a question about my answer to one of the Sunday meme questions. I believe the picture below will take care of that.
I believe that takes care of today's events. I am now going to try and catch up on everyone else's blogs that I have neglected for a couple of days. Be safe and have a great day.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

13 March 2007, The question was asked, "Will I blog after I get home and away from Afghanistan?" Well, I posted one story of my life and adventures as a police officer, don't you think it was pretty entertaining? I believe the answer will be yes. I do enjoy this and meeting new and interesting people all over the globe. Who knows, maybe my travel agent (the US Army) will send me to a town near you.
13 march 2007, Let's post some pictures. The third picture is for Claire at A little piece of me. I swiped this picture off her site for Maj M. If you remember, I built a window picture frame for Major M so he could have something to look at. The first picture was of course is of me and Lt M.
Now, regardless to how good looking the two of us are, you can only take it for so long and I replaced it with a picture from Angel at The Life and Times of Angel Weed. Poor Major M has ordered some posters to put up, but alas they have never shown up, so it is my responsibility to get it freshened up. So here is Claire's picture framed.
With Governor Henry here last week a lot of Oklahoma soldiers got their pictures taken with him and since Cpl. Larkin at Task Force Phoenix 5 has a great camera, I am taking his pictures to post so you can know who I'm talking about when I mention names.

Here's Cpt C, he has been working hard at working out and has lost over 55 lbs to date in the last year. Now, I just need to work harder.
Lt M is my immediate boss, (that means he works for me but gets all the credit). We have been working together for almost 11 years and know each other pretty well. Lt S brought Flat Stanley to have his picture taken with the Governor. We have Texas, Oklahoma and Afghanistan represented in one picture. 1SG R is my NCO boss in the office. Between him and I we get most things done.CSM B is our battalion's highest NCO and takes care of the soldiers, here he is with Lieutenant General Blum of the National Guard Bureau.

LTC Y and Governor Henry looking out over the formation before presenting awards and promotions.

Here's Ben from Ben's Life and his sergeant SFC McD
I will have to post some pictures of me, maybe tomorrow. Be safe and have a great day.