Why I'm here...

Trip Start Oct 30, 2006
Trip End Aug 21, 2008

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Flag of Afghanistan  ,
Friday, June 1, 2007

Living at Kandahar Airfield has opened my eyes in more ways than I think I may realize at this point.  I have never considered myself na´ve or ignorant by any means, but there are just some things you cannot prepare yourself for.  It's not uncommon, though it is overwhelmingly sad, to see a young Afghani boy being led to the porta-johns outside the nearby hospital with a bandage around his head, nor is it anymore strange to witness construction workers pause to lay out their mats and face the south for evening prayer.  There are many things that I've gotten used to.  Working adjacent to the morgue definitely has its moments, most of which I am grateful for, in a respectful way.  Working only on base, inside of the wire, shields me from most of the war atrocities.  Hearing a helicopter hover nearby is a sure indication that a medivac has arrived.  While I always hope to see a soldier or civilian emerge in good enough shape to walk to the ambulance, to see body bags pulled off the chopper is a heartbreaking, but needed reminder of the reality I'm living in.  I too often get to witness the final
preparations before a ramp ceremony; dedicated soldiers practicing in the 100+ degree heat to get the maneuvers precise in order to send off their fallen comrades respectfully.  I can deal with the weekly (or so) rocket attack to the base, the sweltering heat, and the lonely days and nights.  But, I know that what I "deal" with is in no way comparable to what soldiers outside the wire go through.  I don't know how they do it.  I wish that more people would realize how much they are sacrificing.  Every once in a while, no matter how much you believe in yourself or what you are doing, you need someone else to believe in it too.  What the majority of these people over here are doing, soldiers and civilians alike, is utterly amazing.  Giving their time to help another nation.  Sacrificing their life for the lives and freedom of others.  I only wish I could do more and hopefully some day I will have the opportunity.  For now, I will continue to do my part, as small as a part that is...    
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