A young man's strange, erotic journey from Milan to Minsk...and apparently, back again.

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Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

The details of my life are quite inconsequential, really. Summers in Rangoon...luge lessons...

Friday, May 12, 2006

Combing the Villages, Part II

Stepping off to head down to our second objective. The weather was mountainous, though unseasonably warm for April in Kunar. That trend has continued unabated, by the way- I understated the recent weather here in Jalalabad, which is typically hot but not yet this hot. It's actually climbed to at least 110 each day recently, and simply feels like there's oven heat blasting you from all sides for about 10 hours of the day...pretty brutal for early May!

The platoon commander gives instuctions to his attached Afghan soldiers, while Fox captures the moment. Except for the situations in which I was searching or guarding, I had the luxury of mostly observing the searches, and keeping an eye on the news crew while meeting every opportunity to maximize their coverage.

A Marine keeps watch for "squirters" while a search is underway. I have nothing but profound respect for the young Marines who are capable of such professional conduct when they could be targets for the enemy at any given moment. They truly do an amazing job.

More terraces, and the homes above which cling to the rock. This village wasn't empty like the previous one- many children and elderly (and presumably women, though I never saw any), but again military-age men were rare.

"I said, how on earth do you get your kameez and pakol so darn white? There's all dirt around here! Do you use Tide with bleach, or a bleaching alternative?"

This particular Devil Dog hopes to join the LAPD when he returns home. He'd make a hell of a cop, based on what I saw out on the op.

Enjoying a very welcome chai break. The hospitable Afghan tradition of breaking out the chai at pretty much any opportunity is another fine one- even disgruntled guys out here will usually admit that.

See, I said that my sleeping accomodations would continue to degrade! Trust me, it wasn't as spacious as it now appears. At this point, I had only slept for about 3 hours over 3 days & nights. Now I'm not blaming that on the operational tempo...I tend to sleep very little when my adrenaline is pumping, and I was still pretty damn excited to be in the field and on the move with a specialized unit of Marines.

Reporting LIVE from Kunar province, eastern Afghanistan...this was actually taken the previous evening, when the weather was still moving in. By the next afternoon and evening, rain put a damper on things for awhile. After much coordination, a helo was routed (many hours later and after a lengthy firefight near the landing zone) to pick up the crew and myself to get them outbound...thus concluding my first chapter of OML. I'll eventually get the second chapter up here.


Anonymous Laurel Tremaine said...

Hi, CPT Dan! I am enjoying your commentary and wonderful pictures. The scenery is spectacular. What elevation are you at up there in those beautiful mountains? It must be like being on an extended wilderness camping trip?!? ; ) How are troops able to adapt so quickly to the high altitude? I am a Books For Soldiers volunteer ( Are you and your fellow troops signed up with us to receive letters and care packages from home? Laurel Tremaine, SF Bay Area, California(

May 12, 2006 at 11:38 PM  
Anonymous Agnieszka O. said...

It was nice for Greg P. and his crew to do this.
So how does he get it so white? :-)
At least you had a roof over your head...
Stay safe.

May 13, 2006 at 10:49 AM  
Anonymous uhhh said...

More like being on "an extended wilderness camping trip where people want to kill you", Laurel.

May 15, 2006 at 7:36 AM  

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