Friday, May 17, 2013

Month 9 Day 17

Notebook Entry

Journal Entry
We were all able to sleep in for a little while today though for some reason my body wouldn’t let me  sleep past 0730. I went to the gym convinced a nice old Russian lady to le me do y laundry same day and then set about the task of trying to contact our escorts.  I tried dsn, svoip, bft, it was all a mess and none of it was working, or wasn’t being monitored. I finally I just looked up bodik ratislav, the Slovak who was our poc for rc sw and let him know my cell phone number.
While was searching around trying to find a sipr phone I ran into some of the 205 corps advisory team staff.  They are structured very similarly to what we are, but there are a lot more countries out here. The anglosphere seems to take thebrunt, there are brits, aussies, and Canadians, but that is about it.
I managed to talk to their legacy guys, as always they were a bunch of lively Brits.  They said that their collectors were doing pretty well, they were still developing a lot of sources in Qandahar proper. They had issues with the hierarchy just like I did. Somebody in their chain made off with all of their source funding as well and bought himself a villa in Kabul. They had similar problems to me with their collectors being turned into provisional riflemen.  Afte the Qandahar prison break the MICO for the 205th corps were manning the guard towers, not out collecting and trying to get information on the guys who had escaped. 
I had lunch with a british sergeant and warrant officer who were involved with running an academy to train senior  Afghan Staff NCOs.  They gave me a different perspective on the unpartnering of the Qalat brigade.  They flatly said that they did not think it was going to work. They had all of the same problems with their ncos that we do with everyone, them trying to get out of training by using prayer time as an excuse when ordinarily they would not pray for days.  Them working from 0930-1100 and 1400-1600 if you are lucky.  Them making up health problems and other reasons not to train.  They see the same problems with literacy.  They bemoan the decision to go with Quantity over quality. On the bright side they were half-way through their six month deployment, ready to take their R&R and at the end they got to look forward to decompression on Cyprus.
 Capt Brawny, Cpl Bryan, and Naikpai are all going to stay back to try to get tractor-trailors for the major end items that are being towed.  The lift is going to come from the USMC, this is not a shock to me because despite what the Major seems to think these army guys don’t give a shit what Marine Generals get pissed off about. Unless its coming down from Gen Petraus, they are not going to give a shit.
I caught up with an army majr who was the 215th corps G-2 advisor. Hwe was knew and didn’t know mch but knew that his guys were not ready to transition. I made link-up with our escors from the 10th mtn division.

I want to talk for a moment about that ied blast the other day.  For the first time in a long time I felt fear, yes real fear as the VC  for the lead truck.  Some people feel exhilarated after near death experiences, and I don’t want to overdratize the ied blast, but it was so very personal, I thought the blst hit my truck, I was checking round to see if all my guys were ok. when we pressed on with me in the lead, I didn’t show the fear to my marines, I didn’t even vocalize it, I did an after acino with them so that they could learn what I did, but later an hour or two later driving down the same stretch of road, I felt fear. I felt I wanted to get out. I felt like this was all so stupid, why were people dedicating their lives to killing me, and why was I dedicated to killing them.  Obiously I knew all of the reasons, I knew the theories I knew their own religion better than them, but at that personal man to man level it just seemed like such a waste. Today when I sat down in the mwr to read the news everything seemed just a little more pale a littlemore trivial.  I didn’t want it to.  I wanted to want things, simple things that make people happy.  I thought of Suzan, she makes me so happy. I felt like thinking about our house, our lives the new experiences that we will have some day that they were just less important.  I hate this feeling.  I wondered to myself what it is all for, why is it all here, what for.  Obviously I know the anthropological and relious explanations, but that blast somehow hit a reset button.  I don’t want to push this down, I don’t want to push it away. I want to understand and that is why I write this. 

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