Monday, October 03, 2005

News from Afghanistan – Part 7

Reiko recently emailed an update as to what is going on with her and the MEDCAP team as well as several pictures (98, to be exact). You can view all of the pictures at Shutterfly, but I’ve included a few in this post. Her latest email follows the pictures.

Sign on MEDCAP building

Lines of people waiting for MEDCAP treatment

Everyone gets screened going in - women, too

Mother and child awaiting treatment

Members of the 82nd Airborne, in Afghanistan to help secure the elections, help local kids assemble some flags. More about the 82nd's deployment to Afghanistan can be read here.

Afghan boy with a McDonalds Neopets toy - I like this picture because we sent a bunch of McDonalds toys to Reiko to be distributed.

Two Afghani teachers

From left; Sarah Groden, from the US State Department, in Afghanistan for the elections; Major Fry PRT XO (Civil Affairs); Reiko (in the center); two other Afghani teachers

Hello again from Afghanistan!

Well, the elections are finally over and it’s afforded me some time to send out an update of what adventures continue to occur here. If you ever thought the mud-slinging during elections is bad in the US, you should see how the locals protest! Our FOB was attacked on a daily basis, and the first morning I had off since I got here we were rocketed. I spent my morning off sitting in a bunker waiting for the rocketing to stop. We were running missions like crazy in support of the elections to help win the “hearts and minds” of Afghanistan. This is really a politically correct way to say the locals had a chance to score some free radios and some Tylenol.

The day before elections we were in Jaghatu helping the Afghan National Police by distributing riot gear and AK-47’s to the local police stations. We were getting ready to cross a bridge when the front vehicle spotted an individual planting something underneath the bridge. When he took off we realized something was up and discovered it was an anti-tank mine that he was going to detonate. He managed to get on a motorcycle and sped away, but the guys got to engage in a little bit of action before we left the area. It was nerve racking hearing the gun shots being fired, but it was all indirect, so at least no one was hurt while we were being engaged.

Life is a little slower now that elections are over, but the well on the FOB recently collapsed and we were left without water for about a week. Life gets interesting when you do everything with bottled water. Laundry, showering and cleaning all take on a different meaning when you have cases of water stacked in front of you and empty bottles scattered everywhere around you!

Most of the pictures are taken of the last two MEDCAP’s that I have gone on. I also had the chance to visit the local Ghazni orphanage and pass out many of the school supplies and toys so generously donated by many of you. I hope the pictures help give a better idea of what we do out here to help the local province. I’ve tried to include descriptions where I could, but I hope everyone enjoys them all the same. I have pasted the link on the bottom of the email in case the invitation to see them was not received.

Please know that I appreciate all the support and everything that people have taken the time out to send. To all my friends back in Texas I hope you make a speedy recovery after Hurricane Rita and my thoughts are with those who have been personally affected by Hurricane Katrina. All the Texas Guardsman got the call up for Hurricane relief efforts for Katrina, even the ones like me who are serving in Afghanistan. It was difficult for all of us to sit by and watch our home station get hit so hard from so far away.

Thanks again for all of your support!


Previous postings;

News from Afghanistan - Part 6
News from Afghanistan - Part 5
News from Afghanistan - Part 4
News from Afghanistan - Part 3
News from Afghanistan - Part 2
News from Afghanistan - Part 1

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