The Last Journey
Article #18 “Relocating”
It’s Tuesday morning and it started out clearer than most days, but seems to be clouding up a bit. I will soon begin to move in the direction of linking up with the USMC now in the south part of the country. Getting there will be arduous but have to make th move soon to stay on the schedule allotted to me. It’s all part of the process and I was aware of it in the beginning. It is just not a fun thing to relocate. It’s hard to get around in this country. Lots of factors, lots of logistical hurdles. Again, all part of the territory if one wants to do what I am doing.
I have enjoyed my time here at FOB Boris immensely. The troops here and the rest of the folks have become friends. There is always something to see and learn here and for sure <![if !vml]><![endif]>experience. It’s never a dull moment. Each one person here has a story that is note- worthy to me. From soldiers to civilian contractors to locals to ANA and many others. It is just not something one sees everyday in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart. I feel a better man for having come here.
The days here are such a
bland color, gray, that taking good photos is really a struggle. I am so used to the excellent lighting
Two soldiers here did
something in regards to their career in the Army, yesterday and the day
before. One, Cpl Jimmy Robinson <![if !vml]><![endif]>was promoted and the other, SSgt. Christopher Riley
re-enlisted for another six years in the Army.
Both have been in the Army a while and both are tracking to go upwards
in their careers. I spent time with both
soldiers taking their photographs during their ceremonies and audio recording
their comments about their lives in the Army.
Both are committed to their unit and both have reasons to remain in the
Army. Both also have done multiple
deployments, yet still want to remain part of the mission(s) in the years
ahead. SSgt. Riley, a typical Irishman
As I got to know the soldiers here what became apparent to me over the course of my time here, is that for the most part, a large majority of these soldiers deployed here were just young children and early teens when the events of September 11, 2001, transpired in New York and Washington D.C. That hit me hard when I realized it. For the better part of the first decade of the 21st century, we have been at war and a generation of Americans, the soldiers I see in front of me, know only a time in their memories of a nation at war. This includes my own son, however, he was already in the Army a year or so prior to 9/11. It is a sobering fact to realize that this generation knows war for a long time.
I was speaking to one soldier
at lunch today who is from rural
In the past couple of days I visited with some of the local civilian contractors stationed here at FOB Boris. A handful of them used to work for KBR, (a Halliburton subsidiary) and now have been assimilated by a company called Fluor. Others are here with Lockheed and some other sub-contractors working on stuff, “way over my head”, so to speak. And then there are the third country nationals that Fluor hires that are all easy going and pleasant to be around. There are also some local Afghans who are from this area that work on the base and take care of many essentials for daily living here. On such a small place, you see every face at one time or another, often. One just ends up learning about each other.
At the moment, we are in Ramadan. That changes some things around here a bit like work hours and eating times. I never completely understoon Ramadan, but it is a kin I think to winter holiday times back home, like between Thanksgiving and Christmans. By that I mean the gathering of family and the demonstrating of generosity to one another. Eating in the evening time is a big thing, due to most practicing Muslims do not eat during daylight hours for the lunar month of Ramadan. I tend to think it causes a little hypo-glycemic reaction in the enemy during the day. That means the enemy does things during those times.
Yesterday, I had heard a base in the area was attacked by IDF. Then I heard and saw jets circling over head in a pattern, low altitude, and then a couple of Apache helicopters came by, at very low altitude. I was fidgeting with my longer lens and of course, missed the only really good photo of the day. Got to remember to have things in 100% perfect order at all times. This part always kicks my butt. I do the dumbest things sometimes to try and fix an equiptment malfunction. It is why I usually fix things at home with a big hammer.
I’ve had a roommate for
the past few days, a contractor who came in who is part of team that has been
here waiting for some supplies to show up so they can construct their facility
and get their product up and running. I was
not excited about getting a roommate, but this man turned out to be a good
brother and provided to me good fellowship.
Over the course of my life,
I’ve moved around plenty, and at the same time have sat still in one
location as well. I’ve always
looked at my current dwelling, wherever that may <![if !vml]><![endif]>be as a stationary point of operation so I can move
about. I’ve been doing that on and
off for decades now. But
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