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...

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Back in the USA

While I'm not quite yet in the mythic Fiddler's Green - my fellow Irishman, Sgt 1st Class Dave Thompson, and I pose by some of the FOB's new street signs a few weeks ago - I am back in the States. Sorry for the long gap in definitely would have helped to have my own laptop with me over the past couple of weeks. But I do have more to share, just as soon as I have a chance to hook up some access.

Please keep on extending all those thoughts, prayers and well-wishes that you have been to my comrades and all who continue to serve "over there." I've encouraged a couple of good guys to try blogs of their own, and will advise of that if/when it happens. As I said, there will be more to follow on this one, I promise. Thank you again to all who have followed along!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank God for your safe arrival and you must continue to blog as you have such an engaging writing style. It helps us with loved ones "over there" to see beyond the rough patches. Get to know where they are at a little better and appreciate even more what you and those around you do. Thanks again...... Amy
Do let us know of others who may start their own journals...

July 23, 2006 at 10:18 PM  
Anonymous Agnieszka O. said...

Welcome back!
Thank you so much for your stories and photos. I hope you have some more to share with us.

July 23, 2006 at 11:41 PM  
Blogger Bec said...

Thanks and Welcome home!

July 24, 2006 at 12:58 AM  
Anonymous Pat in MN said...

Welcome home! I look forward to reading the rest of the story.

July 24, 2006 at 7:44 AM  
Anonymous Janet said...

Woohoo!!!!!!!! or however you spell that sentiment!!! Welcome home Capt Dan; thank God you are home and safe!!!

Thank you so much for all you have done for our country at freedom's most distant outposts. It would be hard to say it adequately but I figure you have already picked up on how grateful we are, both for your service and now for your safe return home. Rest assured that those still "over there" are still much in our thoughts and prayers.

Will be looking forward to your future posts - glad you will be continuing. Meanwhile, God bless.

July 24, 2006 at 3:35 PM  
Blogger kbug said...

I do hope one of your buddies will continue to post from Afghanistan, as you have been pretty much the only source of news there that I've found.

I'm so glad you made it home're one of several bloggers I've been following who has recently returned from overseas...the others were in Iraq. I hope you enjoy every minute while at home!!! Saying thank you doesn't seem to be enough...but it's all I can think of to say...other than God bless you..... :)

July 24, 2006 at 9:32 PM  
Blogger Major John said...

Please keep posting - as one who was "over there" I found your blog absolutely riviting. Nicely done, and Welcome Home!

July 25, 2006 at 1:31 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Betsy said...

Welcome Home, Capt. Dan! So glad you were able to "phone home" during your trek. I gave something special for you to your folks for when they see you next.
Love, Aunt Betsy

July 25, 2006 at 5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome Home Capt.! Thank you so much for all the great blogs, it was surely one of the best! Glad you're home safe and will continue writing.Can't wait for more things you will share. For all our guys who are still "over there", we will continue to thank you for your service and pray that May God Bless you all..

July 25, 2006 at 8:45 PM  
Blogger Flag Gazer said...

Welcome Home!!!
Thank you for allowing us to join you on your journey! It's been a ride I'm glad I didn't miss! Would that the media would read some of these blogs to see what is really going on.
Our thoughts and prayers remain with all "over there"

July 25, 2006 at 10:31 PM  
Anonymous yankeemom said...

welcome Home!! Appreciate you sharing your "adventure" with us ~
Looking forward to the next one - tho I'm so hoping it doesn't include mortars...

July 26, 2006 at 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Kathi said...

A belated WELCOME HOME! and of course my Thanks! for all you did. Looking forward to more from you, you have been an awesome read.

August 1, 2006 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger devildog6771 said...

Welcome home Capt. Dan. I just love to say those words. The only bad thing about the blogs you guys write is the sense of loss I feel every time one of you stop blogging. Even harder is when a blog is no longer posted and back home we don't know if the soldier made it home or what.

But don't get me wrong. I don't mean it as a complaint. I just want you to know how much your sharing means to us all. I know at times, especially after you have lost a buddy, it is hard. So thank you for your service. Thank you for allowing us to share your experiences.

Best of everything to you and your family. I pray your life will have peace as you so deserve.

August 7, 2006 at 8:53 PM  
Anonymous Janet said...

The details of my life are quite inconsequential... Not so!!!!

Your faithful readers await any future undates. This is without a doubt the best blog I've read from Afghanistan, barr none. Hope you have been enjoying leave and life in general.

August 13, 2006 at 10:39 AM  
Anonymous Pieter Verhees said...

Hello Dan,

Great blog you've written here. My compliments.
I have a question: I am a theatre director from the Netherlands and would like to get in contact with you about a project I am working on. It has to do with a live chat during a performance with an american soldier in Afghanistan. (Actual date is Sept 29th) Perhaps you can advice me about the possibilities of the guys over there or even know friends or colleagues who could help me in this project.

I' am curious for you response. You can reach me at

Thanks in advance...

September 6, 2006 at 7:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CPT Dan, Glad to hear you're back in the states. Not sure if you heard, but we've finally beaten the Pech! We completed a 230 foot bridge across.

It's great to see some of the pictures of the lumber yard from the beginning. It's changed a lot. We were up there with you guys working on it from April on. Lots of Korengal experience in our unit too.

October 13, 2006 at 12:47 AM  
Anonymous Bill Taylor said...

A late "welcome back!" Hope you get online before too long. I have a post I wonder if your readers would be interested in. One way to find it is:
I need help from you and all of your readers. First, my background: I served as a Navy psychiatrist from 1966-68 here in the States, seeing many Marines and sailors back from Vietnam with psychological trauma. Some of those trauma reactions continued long after the war ended. The same was true for veterans of the Gulf war and now for the new veterans. We may not see those wounds unless we’re in the family, or close friends.
In the nineteen-seventies, I eventually joined a Quaker Meeting, one of the pacifist churches.
Because I know and respect many people in the military, and have served myself, I have a different attitude from some pacifists. In fact, I saw no alternative to war with Afghanistan in 2001, assuming criteria for a just war had been met. A number of pacifist groups also took the same position. Where the pacifists in general failed in 2001 was in generating too many alternative proposals, and ignoring the suffering here at home after the mass murders of September 11th.
But after seeing the results so far in Afghanistan and Iraq, I’m interested in finding a third way, beyond military solutions and beyond pacifism, a third way that overcomes the problems with both. I don’t know what that third way will look like.
But I have a starting point.
And that’s where I need your help. All of you, no matter what side you’ve been on.
I need you to fill out the Military/Pacifist Similarities Survey. That’s right, Military/Pacifist Similarities--45 values and experiences that may apply to both the military and pacifists.
The survey’s at . We especially need, active duty military, veterans, and their families to rate these items online. Students are also a vital group. We also want people from other countries; we’ve had responses from the US, Canada, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Europe.
Your identity is protected when you send in your answers. We expect to collect surveys until January 2007. Everyone will then have a chance to see the results. (Which items were most frequently rated as important, which were not; how do pacifists and the military differ on their opinions, etc.)
Then the most important phase begins: a dialog to see what we can discover if we ease off from the “us versus them” struggle that pits military against pacifist. We’ll look for new ways to handle the new types of conflict, in a new century.
After all, military and pacifist approaches each go back for thousands of years. A lot has changed, and it could be time to look beyond what we know.
One more thing: So you don’t feel misled, the website also describes my book: Lethal American Confusion: How Bush and the Pacifists Each Failed in the War on Terrorism. But no one has to pay any attention to the book sections, unless they want to.
Hope to see you on site.
Thanks very much
Bill Taylor
(William R. Taylor, M.D.)

November 24, 2006 at 5:28 AM  
Blogger devildog6771 said...

There have been many pacifists who have served in the military. They simply bore no arms! Their service was extremely indispensable!

March 10, 2007 at 11:56 PM  
Blogger mouthbreather said...

good ta have ya home.

July 6, 2007 at 8:49 PM  
Anonymous Jane Hernishin said...

Welcome back Capt. Dan. Thank you so much for working to keep us safe. I wish for you the time to relax, the ability to rest and grow and the funds to do it all. Get a massage, have a glass of red wine and rest my friend. You have earned it.

August 26, 2007 at 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Nasim Fekrat said...

Where you taken these pictures?


December 29, 2007 at 3:15 AM  
Blogger Army Sergeant said...

Glad you're back in the States. Do you have any idea if you'll still be in the States and interested in blogging around March 08? There's a first-preference offer on the table for military bloggers to attend the Winter Soldier event in DC from the 13-16, with travel costs being helped or paid if necessary for current soldiers/marines.

More details at my blog, or you can email with questions if you're interested.

January 13, 2008 at 7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work for a Global discussion programme on BBC World Service. We broadcast around the world and invite our audience to contribute to the programme. Today we’re looking at Afghanistan and whether the new “quiet surge” will work. We have a range of guests from ISAF spokes people to the Afghan government. I was hoping to have a chat with you about it with a view to you taking part. What number can I reach you on?

If you’re business please get back to me, these issues never go away and we’re always looking for a good military perspective. If you’re currently serving we can give you a false name.

Many Thanks

Ben Allen

World Have Your Say

ben.allen at

September 9, 2008 at 10:07 AM  
Anonymous Doug Nelson said...


We're working with the Army to produce training materials for Afghanistan; we'd enjoy using some of your pictures and insights, but want to do that with your permission. If you're checking these comments, please get in touch: doug at kinection . com

April 16, 2009 at 4:44 PM  
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