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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Catch Up.

I've slowed down on the blogging because the days have been getting busier and busier. We've been averaging 20 hour work days. It seems every time Jeff and I go out on a story, we start 3 more before returning home. There's just so many things going on, so many good stories. A few of our completed stories are up on and we're already getting a positive reponse from the troops here who have seen them. That's pretty rewarding to see their eyes light up with pride and thankfulness. For future stories we've got one about helicopter pilots, unexpected rank promotions, another sit-down with General Campbell, and a story about a Sgt. anticipating the arrival of her wedding ring in the mail. All good stuff!
And that's all before we leave for the real deal when we embed with the 502 infantry regiment, the last of the 2nd Brigade here from Ft Campbell. We will likely deploy with them somewhere in South Afghanistan on Monday. So it's good I got plates for my kevlar vest today, because although they add weight and bulk, they offer a lot of added protection. Other than flying over the base boundaries, our embed with 2nd Brigade will be our first extended trip off post. Gone will be the amenities of air conditioning, the DFAC (dining facility), a mattress, wifi, electricity, TGI Fridays...that's right, there's a TGI Fridays here in Kandahar haha! Jeff and I actually ate there one evening cause the DFAC closed early. If you ignored the loud planes flying overhead, the military trucks rumbling by, and the soldiers decked out in camo with assault rifles, it really felt like you were back in the states.
But as we learned yesterday, feelings of security or normality can be misleading. Bases are typically the most secure areas, but just a day after leaving Bagram a rocket crashed 25 yards from where we had been staying at the Media Resource Center. A few people were injured in the surrounding area and it left Jeff and I with an eerie looming unease. In the mean time we just hope for the best and trust that the military will keep us safe. They do seem to have a thorough understanding and good strategy for handling the predicaments here. Jeff and I have had the priviledge of receiving multiple classified strategic briefings from high ranking officials like General Campbell to help us grasp the overall status of the mission in Afghanistan to help us report on it accurately. Those briefings have unquestionably been some of the most interesting moments of the trip.
So overall the days have been busy, but we're trying to slow down and get some rest so that we don't get sick. Yesterday we got closer to 8 hours of sleep and that's also the plan for tonight. (In fact, I totally dozed off while writing this sometime after 10pm, which is about 6 hours earlier than my usual bedtime here.) So that's a good thing. On that note, I'm gonna go back to sleep, got a big day of editing before we ship off with the 2nd Brigade.

1 comment:

  1. Nate, What an experience! I love the stories and the pictures! You will go home a changed man. Soak it in and be safe... i'm praying for you.