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Posts Tagged ‘RC North’

Finally, Afghanistan; (Third) First Impressions

| February 7th, 2012 | 3 Comments »

Share I’ve arrived at Marmal, a German Air Base near Mazar-e Sharif.  Now that the movement is over, I can say that the brigade trickled into theater over the course of about a month.  Some of the brigade has been on the ground here for just over a month.  Others have just arrived.  Most of my team has been in place for several weeks at least.  I was on the third to last (out of a bunch) movement to country, which was passed by the second to last and finally entered country at the same time as the final movement arrived.  Throughout the long, painful movement into Afghanistan, I kept in touch via email with the Lieutenant Colonel, LTC Grass* who is the deputy team chief for the Security Force Assistance Team (SFAT) that I am a part of. A couple of years ago, SFAT’s were called ETT’s or PMT’s.

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| February 3rd, 2012 | 1 Comment »

Share By the time this is posted, we will be in Afghanistan.   For most of these Soldiers, it will be their first time in country.  For many, it is their first deployment.  Even for those who have deployed before, many of them were in Kuwait.  Afghanistan will be a new experience for them.  The North will be a new experience for me, but not Afghanistan.  It’s not like going home, but it’s familiar.  I know what to expect.   I know what normal activity on an Afghan street looks like, feels like.   The rest will learn on their own.  There is no way to train that.  There is no way to train feeling.  Some will “get it.”   Some won’t.  Some will wind up getting along well with the Afghans they meet.  Some won’t, and will wind up hating them and resenting them.  It is the way of

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| November 24th, 2011 | 11 Comments »
Back through the doorway into Afghanistan (photo courtesy Rebecca Zimmerman)

Share For those of you who have read my writings before, it’s good to write for you again.  For those of you who haven’t, thanks for stopping by.  In the next few days I will begin my journey back to Afghanistan for the third time.  This is my first time deploying as part of a brigade-sized unit.  A brigade from my home state of Ohio, the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), is in the process of deploying to northern Afghanistan after training for several months at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.  How I came to be with them, to volunteer again, is a longer story.   The train-up period seemed to drag on forever, with a certain degree of fatigue having set in before the actual deployment begins. My uniforms, weapon and equipment surround me here in my billet.  Some of my gear is already in Afghanistan waiting for me.  Myself and

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