USMC Cobra Lifting off behind re-fueler
USMC Cobra attach helicopter is seen lifting off behind USMC re-fueler person.  Photo by Jim Spiri, FOB Edinburgh, Afghanistan February 25, 2012
HOME #1 Observatorianist #2 Snow Delay #3 Wintering #4 Helmand #5 Edinburgh #6 Simple Amenities #7 Kids My Own Age #8 Medevac #9 TODAY #10 What People Do To Top Menu
February 26, 2012…Forward Operating Base Edinburgh…It is Sunday.   Skies are cloudy and it is a bit windy.  It's possible that weather could  play a factor in today's events.  This is a Marine base.  The Army  medevac unit from New Mexico that I am with services the USMC as  their customer.  It is a unique relationship and one that has received  high accolades from all involved.  I love being here.  Looking back on my previous embeds, it is always the Marines that  train me how to live in a war zone.  I had landed here a few days  earlier en-route to my first destination Camp Dwyer.  We stayed  about an hour as we unloaded supplies.  I knew at that time I would  return.  Yesterday was that time to return.  The folks at Dwyer had  asked if I wanted to visit "Edi" as it is called and I affirmed that  Saturday would be good for me if it was good for them to have me.   A couple of phone calls were made and in short order, I was  approved to embed to Edi.  The birds were headed there for some  resupply and mail drop off and I was allotted a seat.  Saturday  morning had me up early and ready to be staged at the flight line by  0800 hrs with gear ready.    After a stop in Kandahar, we proceeded to Edi.  The view outside was  excellent and I was rather comfortable in the Blackhawk.  Most of the  load was taken off at KAF so there was ample room on the ride to  Edi.  Kind of like first class seating, war zone style.  We touched  down at Edi and began unloading supplies and my gear.  A forklift  appeared out of nowhere and that was a welcomed site for there was  plenty of stuff to unload.  Upon my arrival, the medics had been  given a heads up that I was coming.  They had arranged a make-shift  luxury "condo" in their supply room for me and upon seeing it I was  startled beyond belief.  I also had a grin on my face ear to ear as  these guys were awaiting my reaction.  I knew from this very first  moment this place was it.  It was like my very own version of the TV  show "MASH", and I was the guest of honor.  And to top it off, most  everyone is from New Mexico and those that aren't have been  surrounded by the Land of Enchantment's "mi casa es su casa"  hospitality.  So that means, the folks that are here from Minnesota  and Arizona, working in conjunction with the folks from New Mexico  are all family.  It is a good place to be for an observatorianist.    After getting my things in place I spoke at length with Capt. Kevin  Doo who is an Asian American from Hawaii.  We had much to chat  about and the aloha from his home has now reached all the way to  forward operating base Edinburgh.  Once again, I am amazed at the  constant coincidences of this journey.  Of course, I know it not just a  coincidence that keeps popping up.  It is surely the result of much  prayer from a wide range of folks back home. As it is in the military,  nothing is done individually.  Everything is done via the "team".  So it is with my journey here.  The prayer teams are in full swing back  home for me and all those I come in contact with.   Once I got settled in and shown around camp, the first call of a  mission came down.  I would go on this mission.  Missions are  described as A-alpha, B-bravo and C-Charlie, according to urgency.   This mission would be classified as bravo and it would be to retrieve  a working dog attached to the USMC that had some injuries, not too  serious, but needed attention. Working dogs in the war zone are as  important as Soldiers and Marines.  I would go on this mission if not  for anything else, for my little sister who raises working dogs in  Virginia.  This mission and photo is for her.  She has supported given  moral support to my journey and provided me a warm coat that I  wear at all times on every mission.  We launched and arrived at our location in about 15-minutes.  It is a  small USMC FOB and soon the handler and dog arrived and were  loaded onto the helicopter.  The dog is a black lab and just full of  loyalty.  He found himself being treated by the medic and then made  himself at home with the crew chief peering out the window.  I really  like this dog.  Black labs are great and this working dog does his part  in the war on terrorism.  Many folks just don't know this.  So, first  mission for me is to pick up and drop off a wonderful dog and get  him back to full strength.  All the crew love working dogs in the war  zone.    After returning, very short time later, another call came in.  It would  be an alpha mission and it was to pick up a local national that had  been in a motorcycle accident.  Approval had been granted from  higher ups and the mission was a go.  We returned to the exact same  FOB and picked up an injured person with a broken clavicle and in  much pain.  Treatment was administered and the patient was  brought to the FOB.  That would be the end of the day for me.    I got settled in and had evening chow.  It was edible and I prepared  my cot with the red wool blanket my neighbor Ed had loaned me and  a comforter I had acquired in Dwyer that had been left behind by  someone.  I bedded down relatively early, 9:00 PM.  It had been a  long day.  I slept well in my "condo".  It's morning now.  I've had a  bowl of cereal and two cups of hot coffee.  I'm good for the day.   We'll see what today brings.  I love being on this base.  The living is  hard, but then again, many have it much harder than I.  I am blessed  once again. Jim Spiri              
HELP! My Humble Abode at FOB Edinburg military working dog snuggles up to crew chief on flight to medical attention
All photo’s and Website © 2012, All Rights Reserved
local Afghan receiving medical attention after motorcycle accident
Sgt Papp, from the Minnesota National Guard is seen here as Blackhawk medevac finishes mission.  Papp is a flight medic and part of C- company, 171st AVN Regiment.
My humble abode at FOB Edinburgh
Military working dog snuggles up to crew chief on flight to medical attention
Local Afghan receiving medical attention after motorcycle accident
Sgt Papp, from the Minnesota National Guard #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 #5 Edinburgh