Time is Running Out

1Sgt does his “Jarod” impression.

Like an hourglass that has been turned upside down and the sand granules slowly deplete and amass on the bottom, so is the amount of time we have left on our deployment.  But the time is measured in days instead of hours.  Our ETT mission has officially ended and everyone is busy packing their bags and disposing of items they have accumulated throughout the year.  It’s amazing how much stuff and junk you acquire.

I am still tying up some loose ends and tomorrow I plan on delivering my last load of humanitarian assistance to the ANA family support center.  Today Omid, Mir Wais, and I sorted through large bags of clothing, first aid kits, hygiene kits, and blankets.  My plan is

Omid, my interpreter, sorting through bags of clothing.

to give one third of the items to the family support center for distribution to wounded soldiers’ families and widows.  Then the remaining items are going to be turned over to an Army SSG who is responsible for 7 regions.  He works closely with the Afghan National Police and has assured me the items will be distributed to needy villagers.  The demand is so great here that just about any village would qualify for these handouts.

Tomorrow I will also say my final goodbye to the ANA Sergeant Major, Religious Officer, and the Mullah.  I have some surprise gifts to bestow upon them provided they aren’t out on a mission.  I’m also excited about the opportunity to interview a former Mujahedeen fighter who was injured during the war with the Soviets.  So it should be an interesting day.

Teammates playing volleyball.

Meanwhile back at the camp, when we aren’t packing our clothes or preparing for departure, my teammates are taking advantage of the sunny weather.  The other day we played over three hours of volleyball while other teammates shot basketball.  I took an accidental elbow to my jaw while on the volleyball court and had a headache that persisted for two days.  But all is well now.  I will just add that to my extensive list of bumps and bruises …. lol.  This deployment has taken a toll on the body and I look forward to the day I wake up and don’t have to don any heavy body armor or carry a weapon around with me everywhere I go.

AF MSgt rules the basketball court.

I’m also doing some last minute shopping before departing here too.  I can’t pass up an opportunity to purchase some Afghan made goods like scarves, jewelry, and rugs.  I already have a place picked out for the rug in my room in our house and now we are contemplating changing out some of the other rugs as well.  It’s almost like planning a mission, because I have to wire the money to my interpreter, take pictures of the rugs for sale, and most importantly, have to get the wife’s approval on the change of décor.  Then I have to make the purchase and wait for mail day to send the items out.   I still think prints of big lions and tigers are manly and spruce up a room, but Mrs. T says that is not suitable for the dining room area.  So I have to trust her judgment and accept her choices … lol.

In this photo slide show you can see some of the many items available at the bazaar:

In local news:

KABUL – More than two dozens of suspected militants have been arrested on charges of carrying out militant operations in the fortified capital, Kabul, the Afghan intelligence agency said on Saturday. An official at the National Directorate of Security (NDS) said at least twenty-six people — in three separate groups — have been detained with some arms over the past three weeks. The militants were linked to the Taliban and the Hezb-e Islami led-by Gulbuddin Hikmatyar — the two leading militants groups in Afghanistan, the NDS spokesman, Saeed Ansari, told a news conference. The Afghan capital was under a number of coordinated attacks over the last one year as groups of suicide bombers, armed with rifles, had attacked key government buildings and guesthouse, favored by foreigners. A dozen of the detained militants were Kabul residents, who were charged for having hands in suicide attacks, providing ammunitions and arms to insurgents, Mr. Ansari said. Ansari added that the detainees confessed during interrogations that they were trained in the Shamshatu refugees’ camp on the outskirts of the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. Meanwhile, Kabul police have also arrested 14 other insurgents on charges of planting bombs, launching rocket attacks on the capital and kidnappings over the past three weeks, Kabul Police Chief, Lt Gen Abdul Rahman Rahman, told in the joint conference with the NDS spokesman. (Pajhwok)

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One Response

  1. Mrs T is sooo right…no lions and tigers and bears…oh my! I start work on wednesday north of the airport…can’t wait to see you once you get settled in!

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