Another day; another explosion in Afghanistan. Sometimes, it seems never ending.
I joined the Army in February of 1994 as a 13B (artillery). I went to Ft Sill, Oklahoma for Basic and AIT back to back for eight weeks. My first duty station was Camp Casey, Tong du Chong, South Korea. After a year, I went to Ft Stewart, GA. I loved Savanna! I joined the Mississippi Army National Guard while at Ft Stewart and moved back home. That was in 1996. I got out of the guard a couple of times. The last time was when my friend called me up and said, “Doc, we are headed to Afghanistan”. I told him I would see the recruiter the next day. They weren’t about to go without me.
We touched down in Baghran in April of 2005 after train up at Ft Dix, NJ. That was the worst experience of my life! Drop me buck naked in the Amazon but never ever in Ft Dix. We met our counterparts and loaded up on trucks and headed about an hour away to Camp Eggar’s, Kabul, Afghanistan. This would be our station for the next year. In June (I believe) we heard a report of some Navy Seals getting killed on the side of a mountain not too far from us. This incident would later become the movie “Lone Survivor”.
I was a Team Leader. We guarded gates, manned towers, and patrolled the city. Our mission was to guard the General of Theater Operations, Gen Ikenberry who later joined the Obama administration. I got to go on a mission to Nurastan(sic) as a shooter for the RAT team (recruiting folks for the Afghan Army). It was beautiful. A crystal clear river ran through the middle of it. It had trees and green grass, a magical place. We were only supposed to be there for a couple of hours meeting with the tribal elders but it started snowing and the Chinooks were not coming back for us so we had to spend the night. The people there were so excited that we stayed. They were so proud to tell us, “We killed two goats for you!” I said, “Thank you.” Hospitality to them (and to our Norse ancestors) was/is a virtue. The boiled goat was good. The homemade bread was better. We had tea (chia) to wash it down.
I loved the Afghan people. They were so genuine. I didn’t care for their pedophilia. “Women are for children. Boys are for love” as they would say. And, “Man Love Thursday’s” was a hoot. They would parade down the streets with their boyfriends. I was watching two of them from a tower and one of them noticed me looking and grab his boyfriend and pulled him closer. I fell out laughing. Speaking of laughing: I was in the Alamo tower. It is/was ( I don’t know if Camp Eggars is still there) outside the compound. It was about 0430 in the morning when a huge explosion happened up the street right in front of the Canadian Embassy. After I called it up on the radio to HQ, I went into hysterical laughter. I have no idea why. I guess we all react to fear in different ways. One of our mobile patrol units had just passed by there twenty seconds earlier. The rocket cut an Afghan guard in half.
I have tons of other stories, but, I won’t bore you with those. My main point is that I hate to see such a wonderful beautiful place (except for all the land mines) be constantly in turmoil. Constant rockets and IEDs from this and that faction. It is destined to be a land of perpetual war, I guess. The Afghan people will keep smiling and carry on but I hate it for them.
Bobby G “Smoke”