Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Greetings From Afghanistan

I just got internet working in my room, so this is the first time I am able to post to the blog. Here is something I wrote a few days ago. More to come soon:

This was written on 8 September 2010:
34 Days ago (Friday night on August 6th) I boarded a plane in Fort Campbell, KY bound for FOB Sharana, in the Eastern part of Afghanistan. After getting settled and having some time to reflect I thought I would post some of my journey and experiences.
The first stop we made was in Shannon, Ireland. I’ve never seen a more green countryside in my life and couldn’t stop staring out the window at the rolling hills. We spent about 2 hours at the airport and then re-boarded the airplane. A few people got in trouble for having knives which is completely ridiculous since everyone on the plain, except me, had guns!
We took off and landed a few hours later in Bucharest, Romania. Again, spent a few hours in the airport passing time, drank a phenomenal cappuccino, and then re-boarded.
Next stop was Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan (just north of Afghanistan). We landed on Sunday morning and made our way to the tent we would call home for 2 days. Let me tell you, these Air Force guys have got it made. It’s a small base but has its own PX/BX, a bar (at which they are allowed 2 drinks per day!), wireless internet throughout the entire base, and a great view of the Himalayan mountains. Oh yeah, and they’re only there for 6 months at a time. The Air Force has this deployment thing down!
We took off late at night in a C-17 and landed the next morning in Bagram Airfield just outside of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, finally having arrived in Afghanistan. The stay at Bagram was short lived (thank God). 4 hours later we boarded a C-130 and flew to glorious FOB Sharana.
We were welcomed at the flight line and after scanning our ID cards to prove we were really there, we got rides to our future homes! The housing situation is actually not all that bad, especially compared to some of the small FOBs and COPs that I’ve visited. We have a square room with a center hallway with plywood 3/4ths of the way up to the ceiling creating 4 smaller rooms. It creates some privacy but everyone in the quad can hear what’s going on in each of the rooms.
My individual room is about 8ft x 8ft. I’ve got a bunk bed (I sleep on bottom and store stuff on the top bunk) and some shelves that the guy who lived there before me built. It’s a cement floor but I put down some area rugs for comfort. Overall, its not that bad of a space and I’m finally getting some stuff up on the walls to make it feel more like home (Christmas lights would be a fine addition).
My office is a different story. I’ve got one of the nicest offices that I could ask for. Keeping in mind that its Afghanistan, so my walls are still just plywood, its great! I have a new black leather couch and 2 chairs, two desks, and 4 computers. It is a huge asset to do ministry and it is a great place for my soldiers to hang out and get away from all the other craziness that is happening.
All in all things are going really well. I will post again soon!