Rather than try and put pictures into previous posts, let me just add a bunch here and explain them.
Here's Aaron and I on the bus from Shelby to the airport. See, I am better looking than he is, that's why I get to be Maverick - see previous posting.
OK Natalie, here's the original...
Speaking of Maverick, here's our Top Gun pose and strut.
This is George Graff and me sitting in first class. It was so comfortable!!
You know how the flight attendant will go through the safety briefing? Well our soldiers took over and took care of that job from them. One read the safety card, not well I might add, and several others demonstrated. They shouldn't give up their day jobs. Notice the funky "Elvis" glasses?
Here we are at Gander Airport in Gander Newfoundland. Aaron's wife described this pose as the "prom pose." I was trying to embarass him for his camera and he was holding on to my hands to stop me. That's all I'll admit to at this point. Suffice it to say, there's more to the story.
When we finally reached Manis Airbase in Kjerjistan (sp) they put us temporarily in this clam shell to pass a few hours. It was late in the evening when we got there. Some left around 0230 and my group left at 0700. We tried to get some sleep on all the bunks. Some were successful, others not.
Here's Afghanistan from the air. Sorry about the poor quality, but that's what you get when you take pictures from a plane window.
Here I am sitting on one of the jump seats in the back of the plane. The next one is me "peeing" on Afghanistan.
OK, I'm not really peeing. It is a urinal though. Of course it's funny!! OK, maybe juvenile is the better decription.
The next several pictures are of us on the convoy from Bagram Air Base to Camp Phoenix. This is the real thing - Afghanistan... Sorry that some of them are blurry, but they were taken from the back of a 5-ton truck.
Well we finally got to Camp Phoenix. That's where our higher command is located. They're a National Guard Unit out of Florida. Here's our team after we got there.
For security reasons, I couldn't take too many pictures of Phoenix, but here's the row of tents we lived in and my "personal space" in one of them.
Here's the view of the countryside around Camp Phoenix....
Here are some pictures of when we had to say goodbye to part of our group. It was pretty hard to see these guys go, knowing that some, many, all of them may actually be in the fire fight. Our prayers are certainly with them.
This is me and an interpreter on a hill overlooking Camp Blackhorse. Some pictures from the hill. The mudhuts are the huts where refugees from Pakistan are living.
As you can see from the pictures, it's pretty brown and bleak. That's thanks to the Taliban. They came in and cut down all the trees. Apparently this valley used to be very green and covered with trees. I have no idea why they would cut them down, other than to do their best to make people's lives miserable. Up on the hill was this beautiful swimming pool area. They destroyed that as well. The Afghans are now filling it with water again, but it's no where near what it once was. Finally, there are these buildings on the hill. The Taliban destroyed them as well. Don't know why other than they're idots.
Did I tell you about our visit with BG Shir, the ANA JAG? I've been having so many problems with the computers here, I can't remember what I've posted and what got lost before it was posted. I'll put the picture here and tell you about it later, if I haven't already. This is Merrill LeBaron, my new assistant, Paul Waldron, BG Shir, me, and Dusty Kawai.
Here's a picture of the sun setting behind the mountains. It was a beautiful night.
Haven't told you yet, but we got to meet with the chief judge of the ANA's 201st command. I wish I could remember his name I can't. I'll get to work with and mentor him as well as the prosecutors, defense attorneys and other legal staff. There's a court martial on Saturday and we're going to go and watch it. It's a case against three deserters. Should be interesting. Commentary later.
I think that should do it. Don't expect an entry like this again for some time. It's taken me over two hours to upload all these images. Slow connection. But, I hope you've enjoyed it all.
I'm still more handsome than Aaron! And no, I'm not insecure!!! (just bored.)
I may have opened Pandora's box. What do you think?