December 15, 2007
Hello, Everyone, once again.
It is me, Captain Carter with another exciting tale of beautiful, exotic and cold Afghanistan. Shall I begin?
Well, we were supposed to move to our new FOB on Monday. We packed all our gear on Sunday. Well, Monday morning came and with it, snow. About 3 inches to add to the 2-4 inches we already had on the ground because it snowed all weekend long. The roads were too bad to drive on, so we were told to stand down until Tuesday. Ok, we had already packed most of our gear, so we had to try to find something to do. I did not pack my computer yet, so I watched a DVD movie and just stayed around camp. I did, however, buy another suit from the tailor. A Cashmere silk suit with shirt and tie for $100. Not too bad if I do not say so myself. Keep in mind that I have already bought 5 of them so this makes 6. They are nice, and I do not have any back home. OK, getting back to my story.
Tuesday comes and with it, yep, more snow. Another 2 inches. We have no air support today, so we again stand down. Forecast calls for 3 inches tonight. We spend this new time to make a snowman and relax and just enjoy another day here in Gardez. At least it is hot chow, 3 meals a day; I only eat 2 of them. (I usually skip breakfast).
Wednesday, we wake up to find out that it snowed some but not too much. We are given the “Go” to move out. We have snow chains on our tires and you can hear them chunk, chunk on the ground. We pick up mail for the 82nd (Airborne Division) that is at FOB Herrera and we go on our mission. I tell you what, no matter how bad things may seem, to get mail really lifts your spirits. I love mail call. Better yet, I do not get any bills while I am here. Hahahaha.
We leave late, about 3:00 but we need to get up there. Since we are escorting a jingle truck, we cannot drive as fast as we usually do but if we do not escort the truck, we have to wait 48 hours to get into it, so we escort it right on the FOB. It takes about 5 hours to drive there. Not bad time at all. Our Major comes over the intercom and tells us to watch out for anything suspicious. Seems an anti-tank mine went off under a humvee and blew it up. It must have been a smaller mine because it only blew the tire off and damaged the engine. It was this one guy’s first time outside the wire and he hit a mine. Luckily, nobody in the Humvee was hurt at all. We continue to and see that there is hardly any snow on the ground where our FOB is. They are about 500 feet in elevation less than FOB Gardez. We get up there and set up and go to our new huts. (I think the FOB is located at 8600-8800 feet above sea level. For reference, Spina Shegha is 9300 feet above sea level).
Thursday morning, we wake up and unload our gear from the jingle truck. Then, we find out that we cannot keep the connex container that is on the jingle truck, so we get the local carpenter to build us a little storage shed. We pay him 25000 Afghani ($500 US) and now, we have a place to our excess gear. The 82nd is so pleased with his work, they hire him to build a building for themselves. We have a good relationship with the carpenter and he does excellent work.
Well, we spend Thursday unloading our gear and setting up in our b-hut. We have to build our beds. Yep, we have to build them. After trial and error, we make them. I help to build 4 of them and I get set up. The Chaplin that we take gives a sermon to the 82nd there. He has never been up here to where we work before and he thinks it is so pretty. It really is very pretty. During the night though, my bed falls apart and I fall to the ground. I think that 3 people’s beds fell down that night.
Friday, I get up and fix my bed. Just a part of it came un-nailed so I get some nails and make it better and stronger. I think it will last this time. We also spend this time meeting with the ABP XO and talk to him for a little bit. The carpenter builds our shed and we put our excess gear in there, so we can go through it later and mail what we do not need back home. We still try to fix out b-hut up and our personal space up to how we like it and then we get our gear ready to load up on the trucks for our trip back to Gardez. It is Friday and that means that we get steak and crab legs for supper. I hope we make it. We leave the FOB around 1400 hrs. and get to Gardez at 1730. I eat chow and then wash clothes. It was a very normal week. Pretty slow and over here, that is a good thing. I hope that everyone enjoys the pictures.
Talk to you all soon!
-Lieutenant Colonel, Jason Carter
Jason lives in Hazel Green, AL with his wife, Linda. He has served for over 21 years and had a total of 41 months active duty deployed after 9/11/01. He is a senior buyer in the electronic manufacturing industry and serves his country proudly in the Alabama National Guard. In his spare time he likes to metal detect, not only to stumble upon a few treasures, but to learn about the history of a place as well. “My greatest hope is that we all remember the sacrifices soldiers make to each other