December 21, 2007
This is Captain Jason Carter coming to you from FOB Hererra in absolutely breathtaking and cold Afghanistan. Shall I begin my story?
I would first like to offer my deepest sympathy to the family of Huntsville, Alabama Police Officer William Eric Freeman who was shot and killed during the investigation of a traffic crash last Friday night in Huntsville. Eric was a real good friend of mine and we graduated High School together. He drove a Ford Pinto. I remember one time in Geometry we barely passed the semester. I had a 64.8 average and he had a 64.5 which both rounded up to a 65 which was a D- but passing. (Mom and Dad that was 20 years ago so don’t ground me. haha). He enjoyed helping others. He was a die-hard LSU fan and I remember he had a wallet that said “Geaux Tigers”. He was a highly decorated Police Officer and received numerous commendations. Eric was 36 years old and leaves behind a wife and 5 children. May God Rest Your Soul, Eric and Thank You!!!
With that being said, let me begin my story here. We finished moving into our B-hut in Jaji this week. We are still getting organized but doing well. It has been snowing for the past 3-4 days and I LOVE IT!!! There is about 9 inches on the ground now but today the sun is out and some of the snow is melting. I may actually see a White Christmas this year. Yes, I know that it is normal for some of you, but I lived in the Deep South for all of my life and snow is a wonderful sight. We’ll have to wait 5 more days to see. The cold is not too bad either. The high was 31 yesterday but it did not feel like it at all. It was not too cold to me. I know the real winter sets in next month and by the time March and April come around, I may be sick of the snow to never want to go snow skiing again, but we have to see that on that one. I saw enough sand in Kuwait to last a lifetime but maybe I’ll visit a beach again too. Haha We’ll see!
When we got to FOB Hererra our brake light was on. It came on in a not-so-good area to stop so we continued to the FOB. When we got to the FOB, the mechanic said that our vehicle’s brake lines were busted and in the process of replacing it, discovered that both rear brakes were worn out! Yep, we had no brakes. Oh, but the mechanics back in Gardez fixed them last week and checked them out every week. We were able to get that problem resolved and the “Beast” is fully functional now, but the snow is too bad to get out and visit different ABP (Afghan Border Police) FOB’s (Forward Operating Base) in our AO (Area of Operations) so we work on issues here.
We, up here along with the 4-73rd Calvary (4th Troop 73rd Calvary Regiment) of the 82nd Airborne Division, have been putting up concertina wire around the FOB. Concertina wire is basically the army’s version of barb wire or razor wire. We have worked on that for the past 3 days. It would get done a lot sooner, but the occasional tossed snowball will lead to an all-out snowball fight. Hahaha That is fun. Like I have said in an earlier e-mail, this place would make a wonderful ski resort area. Maybe someday this area will be in peace and Americans can visit the area without the body armor and weapons and armored vehicles. We can only hope…
The area up here is not too bad as far as accommodations are. We have a TV, 3 internet computers and 3 DSN phone lines that we can use to keep in touch with family and friends back in the United States. I sleep in a B-hut with 9 other men. We have just less than 7 feet of personal space, but it is not too bad. Reminds me of basic training of how everyone shared an open bay. (Basic Training in Ft. Knox, KY in 1993). It is just US military here. No civilians or contractors or foreign military here except for the local Afghans who work on the FOB doing various work.
I would like to last wish everyone a very safe and Merry Christmas. We need to remember the real meaning of Christmas. This is the time to celebrate the birth of Jesus. As you sit around the tree giving presents to the ones you love, remember that there are thousands of military serving in a far-off land giving you your freedom to celebrate as your family traditions see fit. Also, as you all sit down to celebrate with family and friends over a nice big Christmas meal; please say a prayer for the thousands of servicemen that are away from their families this holiday season.
Merry Christmas everyone and I’ll talk to you 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