Our Flag on an Afghanistan Morning, FOB Edinburgh
TEN YEARS LATER #6  Simple Amenities
February 28, 2012 Our Flag on an Afghanistan Morning, Forward Operating Base, Edinburg, Helmand Province.
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February 28, 2012…Forward Operating Base Edinburgh, Helmand  province, Afghanistan…Today is Tuesday.  It is sunny, but cold.  There  is still mud all over the place.  I've been fighting a cold that has crept  up on me. One of the Captains here who is a medical professional  gave me some cold remedy stuff and it seemed to have let me get a  good night's sleep.  I was very thankful to him as well as another  soldier who handed me another remedy called "airborne" that helps as  well.  There is no doubt these guys look after me.    Yesterday was basically a slow day.  There was a bravo mission which I  hopped on towards the end of the afternoon heading into dusk.  One  Afghan National Army person and one Marine were the patients.  The  Marine had broken his ankle somehow and I'm not sure what the ANA  guys situation was.  I got to fly with Capt. Kevin Doo.  The two  patients were picked up in separate locations and both were  transported to another location where additional medical attention  could be rendered.  I enjoyed the flight as well as continuing to be  more familiarized with the medevac calls.  It is similar to staying in  shape.  I learned that early this morning around 0500 hrs.  A call came in and I was notified of a mission.  A Marine had a bad  case of pneumonia and needed to be evaced asap.  I was invited along.   However, I was slow to get ready and was concerned that taking  photos in darkness would not work well.  I am definitely a daylight  hours photographer.  As I headed to the flight line I saw the birds were  already spun up.  I decided to hang back and let the ops folks tell the  crew I would pass on this mission.  Afterwards I felt like I had failed  but I also realized that in the future, I must be even that much more  prepared for the unexpected.  Point noted.     So, now that I was up early, I had decided that  today would be a shower day for me.  Sgt Aughe,  (who by the way has been awarded the  prestigious QUAD A NCO of the year for the  entire Army) walked me around and showed me  the shower that had been rigged up by the folks  here.  It is really a great invention for a FOB such  as this.  I think it is the one thing that sets this  place apart from all other remote FOB's in  country.  It was very cold at 0500 hrs this  morning but I braved it anyway and tested out the shower.  It worked much to my surprise.  I was  now the cleanest I had been a several days.  What  a great feeling.  I've now decided that the shower  thing here is winner and must be  repeated….often…!    While on mission the day earlier, I was pondering  a photo to take.  There were two patients.  One  was Afghan Army, the other was US Marine.  Both  had injuries but were non life threatening.   However, looking at them, I realized that side by  side with the medic in the background and the  mission in the air, it typified in photo what really  is going on here in reality.  Sometimes what I try  to convey is the unobvious, blatantly.  Such is the  reason I took that photo.   The morning before last, I observed the head of  the chow hall making an incredible omelet that I  never saw on the menu of things we get to  choose from to eat for breakfast.  I was so  startled that I asked LCPL Joshua Eddwers if I  could take a photo of his masterpiece.  I  promised him I would make him famous on my  website if he in turn promised to make me one of  those so I could be a kind of restaurant critic for  his place.  (like there is anywhere else out here to  eat)…!  So the photo of "chef Joshua" is not just  for him…it is for me in hopes of getting to sample  this mouthwatering looking omelet. In the mean time, the other photos are of things I see  on a day to day basis.  The MWR tent is where I send all my dispatches  electronically.  The photo of the shower is to give each and every one  of the audience a snapshot of what I try to describe in words.   Everywhere I go on this small FOB there is a US flag flying somewhere  at some time.  It always is a reminder that what is going on here is  because of what happened back home…ten years ago.  Such is life  today on forward operating base Edinburgh "Edi" in Helmand province, Afghanistan in 2012.  The more things change, the more they stay the  same.    Perhaps today will be busy.  If it is, I will be present.  But if it is not  busy, that too is a good sign.  If we are having a busy day here, it  means someone just a short flight away is having a bad day.  There are  plenty of stories here whether it is busy or not.  I like boring.  So do  the families of Marines out in the field. I will enjoy being busy when it  is not busy.  If there was never another medevac mission here, that  would be a good thing.  But I know there will be some.  The weather is  nice now.  That is always an indicator of things to come.  Jim Spiri jimspiri@yahoo.com          
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HELP! Blackhawk medevac from NM Guard seen in nice reflection in the morning light
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A photo of an Afghan Army soldier next to a US Marine being medevaced to a location for medical treatment via members of the New Mexico National Guard.  Medic in background is Sgt Hayes. USMC CH53 helicopters departing FOB Edinburgh Chow Hall, FOB Edinbrugh Photo by Jim Spiri...2/28/12 Typical muddy day seen here.
Photo by Jim Spiri, SPIRI FREELANCE...A photo of an Afghan Army soldier next to a US Marine being medevaced to a location for medical treatment via members of the New Mexico National Guard.  Medic in background is Sgt Hayes.
Photo by Jim Spiri, SPIRI FREELANCE... Blackhawk medevac from NM Guard seen in nice reflection in the morning light
Cobra Attack helicopter is seen departing for mission to suport Marines on the ground
Photo by Jim Spiri, 2-28-12.  USMC CH53 helicopters departing FOB Edinburgh.
Chow hall, FOB Edinburgh
Photo by Jim Spiri...2/28/12 Typical muddy day seen here. 
My Wonderful Makeshift Shower
The wonderful shower that makes my day!
Joshua Eddwers, from Yuma, AZ shows off his masterpiece
Head of Chow Hall Joshua Eddwers, from Yuma, AZ shows off his masterpiece
Inside Chow Hall, FOB Edinbrugh
Inside of chow hall
Getting a Haircut, FOB Edinburg.
#11 Sunset #12 Forest #13 The Expense #14 Crew Duties #15 Busy #16 The Hat #17 Family #18 Change #19 Go...! #20 Left Edinburgh In Memory of Don Viray Freelance AUDIO (A) 2/28 - 3/4 AUDIO (B) 3/5 - 3/19 AUDIO (C) 3/20 to 3/28 AUDIO (D) 3/29 to ... HOME #6 Simple Amenities