Posts Tagged ‘Soldiers’

SSP6 (and some feedback)

July 3, 2011

I think it was the NY Times that described June as having had the greatest number of US Forces killed in Iraq in a while — a couple of years or something.

So, yeah — June has been a tough month.  We fight for king and country, but we also fight for those to our left and to our right.

Buuuuut, I do have to say — bundles have been flowing into AF.  I should see if I can call the AF crew tomorrow, for a check — there are few benefits to being in Iraq, but free calls to Afghanistan is one of them.

I did get some feedback from the folks on the ground in Afghanistan.  “Please send bling” was one of their requests.  Actually, the quote was “If available, they suggest sending some bling-bling to fasten to the clothing. The ladies enjoy decorating their clothes with mirrored items, fake stones and sequence.”

I think that’s certainly reasonable.

I also think this should be a bit inspiring:

Other feedback included great cheering over the inclusion of thread and needles “and things,” though I’m a bit unsure what that means.  Perhaps pastries.  “Threads are good, sheer-type fabric is good for head scarves and things, patterns fabrics are good, even velvet-type fabrics are really popular here (even in the summer heat!)  Needles for hand-embroidery, pins, sewing machine needles, and trim (beads, lace, thin ribbons) and bolts of fabric big enough to make a standard shalwar chemise would be great, too.”

More Female Engagement Team news, here.  Very neat article, here.  And a neat video, here.

And last, but certainly not least, if you’re looking for a little something else to do, it’s time for Super Secret Project 6.  Leave me a comment if you need the bundles address, or if you want more details on the SSP6.  It’s gonna be fun.

Sorry about that

June 8, 2011

Sorry about that.  I sort of dropped off the net there for a little bit.  I’m back.

As some of you have heard, yes, there was an attack here in Baghdad the other day.  There are actually attacks in Baghdad most every day, but this one in particular caught the attention of the news.  It was horrible, tragic, and it involved the loss of life.

We each respond in our own ways at these times.  I’ve seen battle hardened Soldiers with ice in their veins, who may only flinch before getting back to the business at hand.  Others stop and reflect, and others fight their emotions as they face the losses.  It’s different for different folks, and it can be different each time, based on the conditions.  But it always sucks — that’s pretty universal, I think.

Why?  We fight our hardest not for king or country, but for the man or woman standing beside us during these times when we are called to arms. It is an integral part of our profession of arms, dating back for as long as we have had one.  We are here in service to the Republic, but we live and breath and will fight and bleed if we have to, all the more so for those with whom we stand — American or Iraqi.

For me this week, I buckled down and worked.  I do that sometimes.  My long days became even longer.  I skipped things like meals and time on Skype with my family, working more and harder and focused on a particular part of the problem set, trying to fix what I knew I could not undo but could only perhaps rectify.

My hard work won’t bring back a life taken.  But at times it feels like it is all that I can do.

So, sorry about dropping off the net.  Tomorrow, I will try to check in with Afghanistan and see how they are doing.  I should hope that they would be swimming in bundles by now.  And swimming in boxes from the Super Secret Project, too.

As we say, more to follow.  I needed to check back in, say hello, let you know that I am fine but saddened.  It happens, I just don’t have to like it.

And that’s me, last Saturday before the attack.  One of my buddies was cramping towards the end of the 18km run, so I went back out to find him and to run the rest of the way in with him.  We do some stupid things sometimes, like running an 18km race and then running some more, just to help a fellow Soldier see the mission through.