Posted by: Dude in the Desert | April 4, 2010

the last day of the beard — had to get back into conventional military standards

Posted by: Dude in the Desert | April 3, 2010

3 April 10

first off– Happy Easter weekend to everyone … hope you are all enjoying time with the fam and friends and have some awesome Spring weather for all your activities…me, I’ll be packing up crap to mail home …yes, I am getting the hell outta here soon…the new guys are on their way in and I am out-processing…I have been back here at Bagram for about a week now and I haven’t been working–well, not mechanic work anyway…mainly paperwork, making sure people get their awards and credit for meing here…working flights out of this place for my fellow mechanics…and working out in the gym …it’s been nice and quiet and we’ve had great weather –well, the quiet ended tonight, we had a few rockets fly over us and land somewhere on the other side of the base…I guess the bad guys are attacking in protest of Easter–assholes…anyhoo, that’s just normal life here…so far since I have been back a couple friends have had to fly out on emergency leave…one girl lost her grandfather–old age death, but somewhat unexpected, and one of the team guys from the FOB just came thru yesterday because his wife dies in a car accident…it’s crazy to think we are over here fighting a war, but have to go home early because someone in the US dies while living a normal life…it’s really sad…I really want to get out of here, but not for any reason like that …I’ll just wait my turn and roll out as planned … and the plan is that replacements should be getting on flights tonight and tomorrow to start heading this way …of course they have to stop thru Kyrgyzstan like we did, so it’ll still be a couple days before they start showing up …it will be a wonderful sight when those new people come walking out of the pax terminal…not so wonderful for them, but it’s their turn…so the plan for tomorrow is to box things up and get over to the post office…we also will be having a special Easter dinner at the chow hall…I expect the grub to be something like Thanksgiving and Xmas…turkey, ham, sweet taters, mashed taters, all the fixins and sides… prob some decorations –eggs and bunny rabbits or something …whatever… it’ll be good food …it’s been a long tour, but it seems like it flew by, now that I am close to the end…well, I will keep in touch and let everyone know when I am officially getting out of here …it seems like I might not really know until I am actually sitting on the plane –that’s OK, I know it’s soon…love you and miss you all …talk to you soon
OOL
B

Posted by: Dude in the Desert | March 22, 2010

22 Mar 10

things have been pretty slow here lately … the high command people in charge have been knocking down missions left and right…not sure why… something to do wiht new strategies and policies in the AOR…kinda sucks for these guys…they are being held on a short leash and not allowed to carry out their main priorities for which they are employed…but, I guess that’s the way the military is… too many politics involved…whatever, I am still here just to fix vehicles and I have been doing a pretty good job of that–nothing is broke…well, there are a couple things not fully up to par, but we are waiting on parts…nothing that will keep the trucks from doing what they need to do…also, only a few more days left for me out here at the FOB…I’ll be heading back to Bagram pretty soon…our new guys are supposed to be rolling in the first week of April and I want to make sure I have all my stuff ready to roll out so I can focus on getting the new guys equipped, trained and pushed out to where they need to go…not really looking forward to beign at BAF again, especially stuck there for a couple weeks waiting on a flight, but whatever…it’s a step closer to home…well, that’s about all for now…I’ll keep you all posted when I start moving and I’ll do my best to keep up with this stuff…might not have easy access to the internet once I start moving, but I’ll be in touch as much as possible… love you and miss you all … see you soon
OOL
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Posted by: Dude in the Desert | March 18, 2010

18 Mar 10

went out on an early morning mission today … headed out to a drop zone so we could pick up some pallets that were dropped out of the back of a C-130…got up about 0400 to get cleaned up and get some chow…got all my gear loaded up in the truck, and checked everything out…made sure the truck was running fine, commo checks, weapons checks, etc…had some coffee and hung around for a bit till it was time to roll out …as we were loading up the Capt. says “hey, this is all flat desert, so you can’t flip the truck this trip”… hahhaaa, very funny–I replied “oh, I bet I can if I try” …no, I didn’t flip the truck or get stuck in a ditch or anything …altho when we got to the area we pulled off the main path to set up a secure perimeter and the sand was super soft…had to put her in all-wheel-drive…we picked out spot and positioned the truck so we could see everything around us and the gunner had good 360 coverage…then we sat, and sat, and sat some more…we saw some stray dogs running around, some farmers came out when the sun rose, some kids walked by going to school, and a few cars passed by on an adjacent road…someone saw the bird coming around so they popped smoke…the bird cruised by, dropped some pallets out the back and took off…our guys grabbed it, loaded up some trucks and set the trash on fire…then we sat, and sat, and sat some more…this time we saw a couple prairie dogs come up out of their holes and start snooping around…there was a debate about what it was — some thought gopher, some thought ferrit, then it was pretty much everyone throwing out every small rodent type animal they could think of… marmot, meerkat, squirrel, lemming, and prob a few others… it was pretty funny…so the gunner trained his 50 cal machine gun on it–the gun has a camera with zoom action…he zoomed in and we all decided it could only be a prairie dog, given the geographical location and shape and size…that was pretty much the highlight of our mission today…of course, we were still all scanning our sectors for bad guys or suspicious activity…nothing happend… the bird flew around again, dropped some more cargo, we loaded it all up and took off… mission complete…so we were heading back up to the main road from the farmland paths we were on…there was a steep incline to get from the farm back up on the hard road…I punched it and about half way up the incline my truck died…dead, engine shut down… what the crap?? well, I started it back up, put it in drive, held my right foot on the brake, left foot on the gas pedal–to the floor and let off the brake… we pretty much vaulted up on to the hardball…it was a little unnerving…but, whatever…maybe it was in a higher gear or something..not really sure, but the truck is fine…and we are all fine too…well, that was my morning–it’s only 1030 now and I have the rest of the day to chill and work on my tan, study for promotion, and do nothing…thanks to all who had a drink for me last night… I love you all and miss you… talk to you soon
OOL
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Posted by: Dude in the Desert | March 17, 2010

17 Mar 10

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY to everyone .. if anyone goes out to party tonight they better have a drink for me …anyhoo… FOB life is getting kinda boring ..you can only ride 4-wheelers and shoot weapons so much before it gets to be same ol same ol…don’t get me wrong I still like it here way better than BAF, but I think I am just over the whole thing… ready to get back to civilization…and that is coming up…told out air guy to schedule me for a flight back to BAF…I’ll still be there a couple weeks or so, but it’s one step closer and I can start mailing things home and start packing up…also, the new guys should be getting herearound the first of April, so I’ll be running them around getting them gear they need, training they need, and try to get them on flights to where ever they need to go…Kandahar or FOBs or whatever.. plus, I’ll be getting all my guys back from the FOBs and trying to work flights out of here…I’m really really excited to be leaving…I think I’ve had enough of this trip…things here at the FOB have been pretty slow… a little work here and there with the trucks…yesterday I was working on one of the MRAP top hatches and a bolt broke, the hinge came apart and the door slammed down on top of my foot–about 200+ lbs of raw steel armor… but today it feels much better.. not sure if that’s the percocet or that it’s really not too bad, or maybe both…whatever… it’ll be ok…also, the other day I was asked to be a role player for an exercise with the ANA/ANP…myself and a couple other guys dressed up as locals and hid in a house…the other two guys had AKs, but I was playing a woman so I didn’t get a weapon…it was quite entertaining…for the most part they did pretty good… we rand thru the scenario a couple of times and did some critiques after each round… they came thru and cleared/searched the house as if they were doing a raid or going into the house of known bad guys…that was some good fun…I played it all up too… in a high, shrill voice I was saying things like “I’m a woman, don’t hurt me”, don’t touch me, I’m a woman you dirty pig” …of course hardly any of these guys speak English so they didn’t know waht I was saying, but they all laughed at the voice… a couple times there was a terp close enough to hear me and he would translate…they all got a good laugh out of it…I haven’t been out on any missions lately.. the team guys have gone over to another camp for some training with other local ANP forces, but I have been stuck here on the camp…hopefully I get to go out a couple more times before I leave… just want to feel useful, like I’m here for a reason…but, if I don’t go out, that’s cool too..I have been out and had my fun…well, I guess that’s about all for now… I’ll keep you all posted on my movements and when I might be outta here and all that jazz… love you all and miss you all… getting closer and closer to seeing everyone and I can’t freakin wait…talk to you soon
OOL
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Posted by: Dude in the Desert | March 12, 2010

12 Mar 10

well, I have gone past my 19 year mark in the Air Force … and it feels good … it has been very good to me and I’m looking forward to my next assignment…I just can’t believe it’s been that long already .. time flies when you’re having fun, I guess … well, around here things have been pretty quiet …no missions latley, no attacks, no carziness–until last night… the Afghan New Year is coming up so the locals here decided last night was the night to party it up and celebrate…so, they hired a band and set up lights and decorations in one of the tents here on the camp…it was very interesting …the band was playing local music, of course…they cooked up another sheep, and had their “family” dinner…they all live here on the camp with us, so they all treat eash other like family–from what I can tell anyway…it started with some playful wrestling out in the rocks…it was kinda like a free-for-all…there were no teams, but a few people would gang up on one and they would wrestle that person to the ground and throw in sucker punches or kicks…then they would all get up and chase another dude around …I really have no idea why they did this…didn’t seem to have any rhyme or reason…but whatever, they looked like they were having fun…until one guy got knocked down and busted his face on the ground…our doc had to stitch him up over his eye…that was the end of the rough-housing…so over at the tent all the guys were gathered in and sitting all along the edges of the tent…only one guy was out there dancing…everyone else was clapping along to the music and enjoying the show, but nobody wanted to get up and join him…after a while a couple other people joined in… then it just got to be more and more dancing and not so many sitting on the edge of the tent…they tried to get a couple of us GIs in there, but we all declined and let them have their fun…well, a little while later another guy was just walking outside the tent and he stumbled over some rocks, down he went… this guy dislocated his elbow…it was crazy/gross looking…they took him to the med-shed and gave him some drugs…after the drugs kicked in they reset his arm… that was freakin nutso…I didn’t know the body could move in those directions…so, they just gave him an IV and a bag o fluids and let him rest …the night got progressively more festive… everyone joined in the dancing and other people grabbed the mic and decided they knew how to sing–not really the case with most of them…but, they were all singing local music so I have no idea what the original artst sounds like…maybe they were right off key with the original song…who knows… then one of the GIs thought he would liven things up even more .. he hooked his music up to the speakers and threw on some hardcore rap…the locals loved it, but they were still rockin the Afghan dance style..it was hilarious …after a few rap songs one of the locals said he wanted some techno…they found a song and played it… now the main lights went out and people grabbed glow sticks…this was something I never thought I would ever see… Afghan men dancing to techno with glow sticks…who here as ever witnessed that shit ?? nobody, I bet…well, it happened…after a little bit things started dying down so I came back to the room and called it a night…today I slept in–it’s our “down day” or “day of relaxed battle rhythm” as the Army likes to call it…got up around 1000, cleaned up for the day, and we headed to the Indian restaurant for lunch…I have been trying different things there–today I had the chili-garlic-noodles with beef, medium spice… it was quite tasty…after lunch I just kinda milled around doing nothing..I did help out a little with the civilian mechanic and we fixed an oil leak.. that took up about 20-25 minutes of my day…and so I just chilled in the room, went out to wander around every once in a while…hit the gym and watched a couple movies…that’s about all for now… love you and miss you all… only about 30 days left–or soemthing like that… it all depends on the flights out of here…military air travel is so unpredictable–I probably won’t find out when I’m leaving until I am actually on the plane landing in Kyrgyzstan

OOL
B

Posted by: Dude in the Desert | March 8, 2010

8 Mar 10

wow– can’t believe it’s the 8th already … well, for the past few days I have been takin it pretty easy …not too much work going on …some lights, some tires, some info gathering, etc…nothing really difficult or time consuming …just stuff that needs to be taken care of …the weather was awesome the other day–I decided the next day I would lay out and get some sun on my white, winter skin…but guess what– I woke up to 2 inches of freakin snow on the ground … it was crazy …I heard the rain all night…heavy rain with lots of wind, but I had no idea it would be snow…I guess it was in the wee morning hours when the rain turned to big ol fat flakes…well, it all melted off by lunch time, but it was still too cold to be tanning… today is actually really nice .. I got some sun today because I’ve been hangin outside most of the day …not really working much, but just outside…hopefully the bad shit is gone for good …I really wish it would just warm up already …if it’s this nice tomorrow I will be outside on a cot studying for promotion…that’s about all I got goin on here…love you all…talk to you soon
OOL
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Posted by: Dude in the Desert | March 4, 2010

4 Mar 10

so today was kinda slow…got up around 0900 and got cleaned up for the day… had some breakfast …while hangin out at the shop the team Sgt. asked me to clean up the area around the trucks, so I organized and cleaned up a bunch of crap that was just lying around … mostly vehicle parts and tools and random stuff…they brought in a barber so everyone could get prettied up for some big wigs visiting…still got the beards and longer hair, but now they look presentable…I just shaved the head–still got the beard tho …then had some lunch…Philly cheese steak sammiches, yummy… then I was walking back to my room and all the ANP guys were standing around with a sheep…of course we all made fun talking about it being their girlfriend for the night and whatnot… one if the guys asked what it was really for and they said “dinner” …oh, right on …well, I had to go with them to witness the slaughter and cleaning and prep of this thing– so, if you don’t like bloody dead animals, don’t look at the pictures posted here…this is what I did this afternoon

Posted by: Dude in the Desert | March 1, 2010

Posted by: Dude in the Desert | March 1, 2010

1 Mar 10

well, it’s the first of March and I got names and emails for our replacements — that’s an awesome sign …we are leaving SSOOOONNN!!! right now I am hearing the training completion date is 30 March, so hopefully they fly straight here from training…anyhoo… for the past coulple days things have been kinda chill around here … did go out on a mission, but me and another guy sat with the trucks in a semi-safe area and the team went out on a foot patrol thru some crazy village…they walked about 9km just checkin things out, seeing how the local Army and Police guys handle business…they said in some sections they litlerally had to walk thru raw sewage…the toilets in these houses around here basically have a little hole, or gutter type thing that drains to a hole or pipe going out the back of the house …all waste just flows out the back of the houses on to the ground …well, there were areas where the only path for them to walk thru was thru this sewage…glad I wasn’t walking with them …they were gone for about 2 hours or so…it looked like a pretty rough walk…it was a cloudy, gloomy day–not too hot, not too cold, but the guys came back sweating their asses off…tired and ready for lunch …we loaded up the trucks and headed back to camp…that was all I did yesterday, and today there isn’t really anything to do–no broke trucks right now, so I cruised around the FOB on one of the ATVs and then hit the firing range to use up a couple clips on my pistol…the rest of the day I have been going back and forth with guys replacing us and the guys here –getting info so i can match replacements with old guys so they can share all the info that have about where they are working …now i’m just hangin out watching a movie waiting till dinner…anyhoo… love you and miss you all … talk to you all soon
OOL
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