Monday, June 17, 2013

Month 10 Day 17

Notebook entry
53 reports given, conversation with dinar, conversation with the major, Dr.'s birthday.

Journal entry
In the morning I was only able to sleep until 0630, that was not fun because I was really tired and needed to get some extra sleep.  I couldn't.  I went to the shower cut my hair had my Friday breakfast in the chow hall, and then came back to camp.  I fought the battle of the inbox most of the morning and did a good job of it.  I was nice that I was able to access my e-mail from LNK because I didn't have so much to catch up on.  

I took Dinar to lunch.  He spoke to me about how bad he felt about how the Gunny treated him.  I told him everything I could think of.  Gunny's omnidirectional hatred because of his failed marriage, poor relationship with his daughters, the rejection of the USMC.  I told him how we couldn't touch the Gunny because he had reached sanctuary, and how Dinar shouldn't take these things personally.  I told him how other people see what they are expecting to see and therefore see a lazy Afghan when they look at the linguists because that is what they expect.  I told him how to try to turn the other cheek, I talked about Job, I talked about persecution even unto death, and that is where I had to stop.  I felt really bad for him.  

He's like. "you know how it makes me feel when educated marines (12th grade education) say that "I hate this country, I hate all of the lazy fuckers in it.  Do you know how much of my family I risk to be here?  Do you know how much I am reviled by the Taliban. I don't want to complain to the boss because I don't want to be weak, and because he alreday has a million problems with the general.  Just sometime, when Col Schmitt asks, how things are going with the team I want to tell him the truth, but instead I tell him, it's all great, sir."

I met up with Major Tawoos this afternoon.  He is a man with one lazy eye, about 5,5 and a normal build.  I walked into the bedroom and it was cleaner than when it was just Salim.  He had rearrangeed it, there was now a soldier to serve Chai, he gave us some ubiquitous crappy candy and poured some glasses.  He told me  that he started in the Army 25 years ago under the Russians, that he began as a commando went to school in russia, came back and after the Russians fell he stayed in the Army, they put him in the infantry.  When the Taliban came to power he didn't have a job, and then when Karzai came in he rejoined.  He has been working for the pastsix years in Zabul and Qandahar.  Most of his time has been in Counterintel and in HUMINT working for the legacy program.  He told me as he took a drag on his 'pine' brand cigarettes.  He informed me that he really needed to make sure there were no threats inside of the Army and that he had already spoken to the XO about getting a counterintel officer at each of the kandaks.  He had no idea that they were missing regular intel officers.  He has eight kids, three boys, the oldest boy is 14 and the rest are girls.  They live in Kabul and he hasn't been able to see them in two months.  He was hoping to get transferred to Kabul after working for 6 years in the south, but he was not able to.  I told him about his predecessors, he shook his head an agreed that a lot of the officers try to buy their positions, and they are only in it for the money.  He wanted to know how the section was doing and how things were going in the brigade.  I gave him my assessment of his sergeants and how intel was not functioning right now.  He said he needed help with getting air conditioners and stuff for his office and room, I told him that they used to have offices with A/C, but because the S-2 was gone so long other officers took over those places.  He's said this is the most important thing.  I said "really, I thought the most important thing was beating the Talban" He smiled wryly and said "yah, you're right."  I told him about the training goals I had to accomplish with him, the class schedule, my weekly reports, how and when I give them reports, and how things needed to go. He seemed a bit resistant, "I have a lot of experience." well I've heard that before, we'll see.  I set up a time for Salim to show him all that he has learned in the past few months.  I asked him to be careful of Salim's feelings.  Salim has not learned a lot, but he has done his best, worked hard for an Afghan (1 hour per day of class), that's all I ask.  

I went to the birthday of the Hospital Corpsman rate, it is a dumbed down Marine Corps ball, but it is good that they have a little special esprit for the harder lives that they lead with Marines as opposed to how they live on ship. 

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