Monday, June 29, 2009

Graduation Day

June 13, 2009
Got home Friday and Saturday was my son's Graduation Day. It was a great day and the next day we had a little party at the house with some family and friends. These are some shots of Nick and I, my Mom, Pam, Logan and a few of the guys, Dave, Tom, Dale and Brad. It was great to see everybody.
By the way, it took about 30 hours of travel time to get home, 18 of those in the air. Takes a lot out of you. I was beat up from going back in time and it was nice that Pam and I had a day to regroup in Boston before heading south to RI.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Half way mark

Well I'm almost at the half way point and I'll be home soon on leave.

Some things I've learned;

The way to help and change this country is through education. That means it may take a couple generations for the changes to take effect. As of now, most Provinces, the outlying ones, only allow boys to attend classes. Girls go to school in the bigger cities, but even they are in danger from attacks, as was the case of the two girls that were sprayed in the face with acid on their way to class.

The men we are training to be police are not doing it for reasons that most American men and women become cops. They have no concept of the "thin blue line", and are mostly doing it for the money, (about $100 a month), or the power to strong arm villagers for money and goods.

Yes, they are warriors, but they are also very lazy. I won't go into personal hygiene, which is a blog all by itself and I really don't feel like talking about it right now.

The US Military;

Let me say this, soldiers are soldiers and always have been. They are young men and women at war and are dealing with it like soldiers always have. They make due. The Officers however are a different story. I wish there were more over here like Ray and Tom, who I'd work for anytime. But the Officers I've met and worked with over here leave much to be desired. Most are basically arrogant punks and the big problem with how the military is conducting this operation begins with them.

As far as I know, we are here to help the Afgan people bring democracy to their country and get rid of the Taliban. If you run a scorched earth policy and treat the locals like they're the bad guys, all you do is push the young men towards joining the Taliban. Counter productive if you ask me. You can't roll into a village with big noisy armored vehicles and threaten villagers with bodily harm for wnating to get close enough to ask for water and expect the Afghans to accept us openly. It won't work. You're just breading younger terrorists.

I can't say it hasn't been hard, it has. Not the work or the conditions. Being away for so long. The hardest part has been being apart from my family and freinds. I'm fortunate I have such good support from back home. Thank you all.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Range Officer

I've been assigned to the range for the last week and it's very interesting. The Afgan Police work with the recruits and we oversee them using language assistants. Let me put it this way, they need a lot of help. The ANP instructors are very good, very experienced. I can sum it up this way. These are people whose mothers didn't use prenatal vitamins, they didn't have nutritious diets growing up, nor the benifit of sports programs to help with coordination. They are however, instilled with a will to fight but are inherently lazy.

This week the women are shooting, which is a trip. Some are pretty good, others however, well check the photo's.

This is the Afgan gun rack in my room at my new location. My M-4, with slight modifications.

I should be home in a couple weeks and we're having a party at the house, (big suprise). If you're reading this, then you're invited. Here's the official invite.
(double click for details).