Back-dating V: Afghanistan ’08-’09

Some of the best years of my life were spent in the Military. I don’t know how I’ve missed putting Afghanistan on the back-dating this far… I guess time is crazy when you lose track of it.

I spent my Afghanistan time doing several things for the Army. I was a Corporal {who unfortunately struggled to make points for 18 months and then never did get that promotion, due to lack of time left in} who was a “jack of all trades”. I was supposed to be in logistics, but that did not last long; I volunteered to get out of the logisitics team and head my own office {volunteering to take a “higher” position}. Because of this move, I was blessed with the opportunity that I would not have received otherwise. I was fortunate enough to control the Intel section in our troop which controlled it for the base {personnell wise}.

Control over Intel forced me to interact with the locals that I would not by choice have done myself. My “squad” {made up of “everyone else” in the platoon that was not assigned to the air field or the commo shop} had regular dinings in at the local’s houses, usually made of borrowed ply-wood and old tents over the top to make them water proof, or mud huts that required LOTS of heat just to keep them at just-below-body-temperature warm.

I unfortunately live in a mud hut, but fortunately lived there because of my position in the troop. I was the second highest ranking female {only to my previous boss} and was afforded the privilege to NOT live with the junior/lower enlisted females. THANK GOD. At the start of winter there, which was September, Chad {my husband, for those of you who do not know} got to start visitng me regularly, so on those nights, keeping warm was not an issue.

Aside from the Intel portion, I acted as the troop’s photojournalist; photographing the goings-on and depicting through careful words about our troop’s Soldier’s lives over the big pond. I enjoyed this, a lot, for a few different reasons. The biggest was because I was chosen to photograph all of the events and ceremonies, something {as you can see} that I loved to do. The other, minute reason, was because I did not have to stand in formations unless I was being awarded, recognized, or whatever, anymore! Sneaky, sneaky, right? Of course.

I have a few ready to post, but there are SOOOO many, that this will have to come in pieces.

Ol’ Glory at the Airfield, one of my favorite pictures

The view out of Chad’s base before moving north
where the real mountains were (just kidding babe)

Since we operated a lot of the FOBs operations,
mail pick-up was a regular misson. Here I am sitting
at the airport waiting to leave Gardez to get my head
looked at

Being good friends with the mortar platoon sergeant, I was
an honorary member of the mortar team 🙂 PR pays!

This was the MP unit on our base, who unfortunately
we hit time after time. Something about the just screamed
“look at us”.



This was for one of our air drop missions. We needed to scout
out the drop-zone and mark it.




Despite being in a third world country, we were still blessed
to see such beautiful things… occasionally.



Over at COP Wilderness where our Sqdn’s Infantry boys
stayed. These Howitzer’s were rarely inactive.

Shauna over at the airfield making sure there
is enough fuel for all the aircraft that hubbed at our
base, one of the largest  fuel hubs around.

Shauna, again, fueling aircraft

My last view of COP Deysie seen from the road, a bird
inbound

Mr. Ford, Secretary of the Army, in for a few reenlistments

and for a few renewals of oath

In January, we were shut down for aircraft for a few days due to
snow and ice. This was just a pinch compared to other parts.



Description unavailableImage by elisemaynor via Flickr
Winter in January, still very cold 



Love to all,
Elise @ EMP

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