It’s been almost three weeks since arriving in Afghanistan. It’s been very interesting so far. We are over a mile above sea level in Kabul, with mountains all around. The air here is thick with pollutants, making the view of the taller, distant mountains sometimes impossible. The temperatures are not too bad, highs in the low 90’s, lows in the mid 60’s. I know that will change as winter approaches, I’ve been told to expect to see snow.
I know it’s early in the deployment, but it’s hard to not compare being here to my previous deployment to Iraq. Obviously, while I make comparisons between the two in the blog, I’ll be leaving out quite a bit of what it’s like here. Shhhh! It’s a secret.
First of all, when I went to Iraq, the Religious Support Team we were replacing met us at the helicopter pad and was happy to see us. They couldn’t wait for us to get there so they could go home. Quite the opposite a few weeks ago. Someone neglected to tell anyone here that we were coming. Probably because we weren’t replacing anybody. But, none the less, we showed up, without a job and without a place to do that job. We have since integrated ourselves into the overall mission, found things to do, and as it turns out, have some busy times and lots of travel ahead of us. But in the beginning, it was a fight to stay in the fight. We’re still fighting for a desk, but at least we have a job.
Secondly, when I was in Iraq I only got to go on one mission outside the wire. I had a good deployment, worked hard, and was successful in what I did, but it was boring. I’m very proud of he job I did, but I longed to see the outside world where I was at. But that wasn’t in my job description at the time. So far here, I’ve left the compound a number of times already. I got to experience traffic here. I got to see people walking up and down the streets. I could see their shops, their supermarkets, the business of life in this capital city. My only interaction with any of the local population are the ones that work on the compound. They seem happy to have jobs, even if it is picking up trash, cleaning the restrooms, or working in the kitchen.
I’ll close with one thing that is the same from then to now. We will do our job, whatever is asked of us. We will complete the mission, no matter how hard it is. We will be successful, no matter what happens after we leave. We will be proud that we did our part when we were called upon.
Good day and God bless.