Ready to Roll Out of Afghanistan

Local time is 3:30am and I’ve been awake for a couple of hours. Two reasons for this. I’m pretty pumped to get rolling on home and there are a couple of SGTs going to town on a pile of lumber, sawing serious logs, snoring, waking the dead…all of the above. I will be heading to the Kandahar International Airport at 7:30am so I can catch my 10am flight to Dubai.

Yesterday I wrapped up shooting the Afghanistan footage for this project. COL Eric Ahlness, the commander of the Minnesota National Guard’s ADT unit, was my final interview. It will be rewarding to get back to tpt to begin editing the hours of footage I’ve accumulated.

None of this footage would have been shot without the help of one person.  I have to give thanks to LT Fischer.  Davin’s plan was executed to perfection.  Under his guidance I was plucked out of the Kandahar Airport, took three helicopter rides, witnessed multiple mounted and dismounted patrols, visited with soldiers at four bases, navigated Highway 1, and will soon be dropped back off at the Airport.  It’s been an amazing, busy, rewarding and safe two weeks in Afghanistan.

LT Fischer, CPT Tucker, COL Ahlness and I ate at TGI Fridays last night. Walking into a TGI Fridays in the middle of a base in the middle of Afghanistan is like walking into Bizarro World. Batman, Jaws, and VW memorabilia on the walls. A fully UNstocked bar in the corner; $18 sandwiches on the menu. All in all it was a decent meal; bizarre, but decent.  It was odd not having a Romanian DFAC worker plop a glumpy pile of greasy rice on a cardboard tray.  Instead we overpaid for a burger.  Alas, I’m progressing back to the real world.

water

Ponds of water and mud at Kandahar Air Field just help me to bring home a little more Afghanistan with me. AFG is caked to my boots and splattered on my clean(er) pants.

I am eager to get home.  I am glad to have met so many great people. This isn’t the end of the blog; I have a few more entries to get to that will deal with: traveling on Highway 1, seeing a girls’ school in southern Zabul Province, military acronyms, and a few profiles on some soldiers…one of which is on his fourth deployment. I’ll also roll-out some rough cuts of the documentary as I finish them. Thanks for reading, more later.

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