Going ‘outside the wire’ in Afghanistan

I have a case of the butterflies right now. Are the butterflies the result of the military-strength coffee I had for breakfast or knowing that in a short while I’ll be heading out to, what I’ll call, real Afghanistan? Likely it’s a combination of the two.

By real Afghanistan I mean Afghanistan outside of a base. Since I arrived on Saturday I have spent time at Kandahar Air Field, flew off of KAF and landed at FOB Apache. I’ve seen Afghanistan from the air, and peered at it through a fence line. Today I’ll get to set foot in Afghan soil. I’m sure I’ll come back with Afghan soil in nearly every crook and cranny possible. Teeth, ears, eyes, in between my toes…check, check, check & check.

Keeping OPSEC in mind, (Operations Security) I cannot say exactly where, or when I’m going, but I am excitted; a trip like this is the reason I am in Afghanistan. It promises to be an eye-opening experience for a couple of reasons:

I’m interested to see the coordination involved in moving people and equipment from base to the village we are going to. Second, seeing the Guard troops mentor the DAIL (Afghan Ag, Irrigation and Land) staff so the DAIL staff can better assist the farmers of Zabul is going to be, for lack of a better word, faith-confirming.

This is a peace keeping mission. I’ll be seeing Minnesotans helping Afghans help themselves so they have access to more food, more economic stability and a better ability to provide for their children. It’s a story I’ve been waiting to share since last October.

In my next post I will share more details and photos of this mission.

As an aside I received a nice comment from COL Eric Ahlness’ wife, Lori. Hearing from her gave me another bit of perspective. I am drinking coffee with, eating with, and traveling with, someone’s husband, wife, son, daughter, father, mother. Telling Lori I had recently shared a meal with her husband made me stop and pause.

I need to go walk off the coffee.

Thanks for reading…more later.

Can’t forget this, Mom…if I don’t have access to phone or computer tomorrow…Happy Birthday!