Friday, July 27, 2012

Heading Out on R&R

I'm back at Kandahar Air Field (KAF), on my way out for my last R&R.  These last three months have both crept by and gone by in a flash.  If you've been on a long deployment, you probably know what I mean.  Frankly, I was getting a bit burned out towards the end.  I need to get my brain reset for the last sprint to the finish.

Finish?  Yep.  Once I come back, I'll have about six weeks or so before my time in Afghanistan is up.  I am not going to extend here.  If I thought my efforts were making a difference, it might be worth considering, but I sure don't see it.  And beating my head against a brick wall is not worth the price of separation from the family, no matter how good the pay is.  So I'll go home this fall and deploy no more.  Travel, yes; deploy, no.

This past week saw the start of Ramadan.  This Muslim holy month typically slows down nearly everything except insurgent activities.  The faithful don't eat, drink, or smoke from the first call to prayer (around 4:30 in the morning) until sundown (around 7:30 in the evening).  Since the daily temperature is around 105-110 in the afternoon, they really need to be careful to avoid severe dehydration.  So the working hours now are from around 6 or 7 am to around 10 am, maybe 11 for  those working indoors. 

As for the insurgents, their mullahs say that, since they're engaged in a holy war, they can eat and drink during the day to maintain their strength.  So our Afghan security forces are often following the same ruling.  No sense fighting a war when you're giving the enemy a big advantage. 

But Ramadan is a good time to go on leave.  I flew into KAF yesterday, got settled into my temporary rack, and took care of some business.  After being out in the boonies, I'm looking at KAF with some fresh eyes.  Here are the top 10 things to like about KAF:
1.  Indoor flush toilets.
2.  Salad bar at the DFAC.
3.  Ice cream at the Boardwalk.
4.  Seeing friends again after 3 months.
5.  Cooked-to-order ham and cheese omelette with REAL EGGS.
6.  Cappuccino at the Green Bean.
7.  Did I mention indoor flush toilets? 
8.  Umm ... that's about it ...

So I have a couple of meetings to do today to discuss some Maiwand-specific issues.  Then I need to do some paperwork.  After that, read my book, pack my bag, and get ready for the flight tomorrow.  Sunday morning I'll be HOME!


  1. God speed and traveling mercies. Have a good rest.

  2. Enjoy your time home, and then 6 weeks later you'll have lots of time home! We're looking forward to having you state-side :)

  3. indoor flush toilets are awesome

  4. indoor flush toilets are awesome