My friend Darci's husband is deployed in Afghanistan. Darci has been blogging about his experience – and her own –
as they got the news of his departure and now as he has been serving. I asked Darci if I could re-post her husband's most recent email on my blog to give it wider distribution. Josh (Darci's husband) is extremely funny, so I'm not sure this is representative of all or most or many other soldiers' experiences, but I thought it was worth a read because of the glimpse it gives into reality of day-in-day-out life. I should mention Josh is an elementary school teacher in his real life, it sheds light on the first paragraph. If you want to read more of Darci's blog, you can find it here.
They Call Him Baci…
"It is so hot today. BOO! We were out on a Humanitarian Aid drop, and (soldier) and I were pulling security at the entrance conducting personnel searches and crowd control for the villagers who were picking up the aid. Man, those Afghani woman are certainly gaining a sense of independence even if they are still wearing their burkas. They were so fiesty and nasty. It was like they all had listened to a Kelly Clarkson CD before they showed up and got all fired up. One of them gave me the finger when I told her to step behind the cone. Then she kicked the cone. I made her go to the end of the line. That behavior is uncalled for. I had the terp explain that she was going to get her rice and flour too, but if she pulled a stunt like that I was going to give her stuff to someone else. I felt like I was back in the classroom. I could sense eye rolling behind the burka but what can you do. She behaved herself the rest of the time, but seriously worse than a little kid.
The men on the other hand must have listened to a Bob Marley CD b/c they all showed up smelling strongly of pot. haha I told them all to get a line one behind the other, and they all get in a rank instead of a file. The terp said that is the only kind of line they know b/c that is how they used to line people up to shoot them. Well, that just makes you feel bad, and then you can understand why the lady is so grouchy. If nothing else, I taught this one village how to get in a line one behind the other. My great contribution to the war on terror and counterinsurgency. haha. I would like to introduce modern toiletry products such as antiperspirant. I searched more than one individual with the "dam has broken" sweaty pits. haha. Personnel searches-definitely drew the short straw on that one.
"Things of course are silly here. There are so many officers without enough to do. Majors seem to be especially bitter and the most likely to exhibit behavior that is too big for their britches. I am always getting in trouble. haha. You know if I am getting in trouble you can imagine what kind of trouble other people are getting in. haha. It is only 1:00 PM and I already got in trouble for being too loud-I was laughing haha, exhibiting horseplay-it was added to the offense of laughing too loud, wearing my sunglasses on my head-a common offense for me, my uniform being dusty-we have being driving around all morning, not washing my hands long enough before going into the chow hall (there are sinks outside that you have to wash your hands in before being allowed inside) apparently I was well outside the 20 second mininum-a new rule, and finally I got in trouble for saying that this place was-stupid. I said this after I was yelled at for not washing my hands long enough. haha. I don't care, it is so funny. (soldier) and (soldier) is like this place blows, and we all get a chuckle out of seeing what offenses people get in trouble for. I want to write Obama and tell him he does not need to send any more troops to Afghanistan-he just needs to make the ones that are here all work everyday-haha. I went to the gym in the middle of the afternoon because we were on a night cycle a couple of weeks ago and the gym was packed and I was like do any of you do anything-why are you here. haha Oh well, just a few more months. God love the great state of Illinois. Be sure to give those Guard boys a big shout out when you guys go to Chicago. haha. Tell them to hurry up. haha. I feel so bad for them. I just want to be like brace yourself-it is going to blow. haha
"The other drivers and I started taking stickers/wrappers off things like gatorade, cigarette cartons, and bottles, and starting putting them on our trucks. We call them our sponsors. When we finish a mission we all get on the radio and say I would like to thank my sponsors GoJo, Gold Bond, and Gatorade. We all joke that our dream is to drive the Guard Car. haha. Of course we all talk in a NASCARese accent. I said the other day, "they offered me the Army Strong car and said heck no, I'm holding out for the Guard car-Dale and I are tight-he just don't know it yet." Of course I am the funniest at it. haha. When someone gets in trouble for going to fast on the FOB or hits something else when we are out and about, I get on the radio and I say Oh my God, we just lost power bar AND gatorade b/c you couldn't drive right. haha. I am sure eventually we will get in trouble for the stuff tacked onto our trucks, and have to take it off, but it is funny for now.
"Jokingly, one day I did this 'inflight' brief before this mission. I called us the Camp Phoenix Taxi Service. Now it has turned into this big thing, and now they make me do an inflight brief before every mission. I say "Greetings from the cockpit. Just finishing up some paperwork before we push back from the gate. On behalf of Camp Phoenix I would like to welcome you aboard flight ____ with roundtrip service to _________. Our flight time today is roughly ____ depending on traffic patterns and potholes. We expect sunny skies with light to moderate insurgent activity (the level of activity changes based on our intel brief for the day). We are proud to be codeshare partners with KBR who are providing our meals today. On the menu is chicken or chicken. (this is funny b/c that is all KBR serves in the dining hall is chicken.) In the event of insurgent activity, you may use your seat cushion how ever you see fit. (this always gets a big chuckle). Due to budget cut backs and rising fuel costs, there is no movie, blankets, or beverage service other than warm water on today's flight. I invite you to sit back, relax and enjoy the flight. Flight attendents prepare for cross check and departure." haha. Always the comedian. This guy from BDOC-(Base Defense Operations Command) came up to me the other day and said, "Are you the in-flight brief guy? We think it is so funny!" What can I say. Maybe the Phoenix Gallivanter will interview me. haha. Big Dreams"