I guess no matter how dark the night, the sun does eventually come back out.
Using that analogy, it's morning for me here. Definately not the full light of day, but not the dark of night anymore.
Thanks to all who were concerned about me. I appreciate the emails and comments and prayers and kind thoughts. I did not mean to alarm anyone, but it is important for me to post each week, the good and the bad.
I'm approaching the four month mark on a deployment of undetermined lenghth. Fifteen months boots on the ground (BOG) is now the rule for Active Duty units. How that applies to Army Reserve Soldiers deployed to augment a USAF hospital is still hazy, much less how it applies to an Active Duty Soldier deployed with the Army Reserve in support of a USAF hospital! To say I'm confused is an understatement.
And now the Department of Defense has revised it's rules on blogging. Previously, we were required to register our blogs. Now it appears we may be required to submit our blogs for review prior to posting. If that's all that is required it won't effect me, but each individual unit has some leeway to manage the program as they see fit. My unit could forbid blogging completely. If so, I'll need to find another way to get the word out about my deployment. This has become a routine, and a way to vent at least some of my feelings and thoughts about deployment. I hope I can continue.
The new hospital continues to go up. All the columns are now poured.
The foundation is next. I can see progress every day. One day we will be done with the tents and working inside a new, "brick and mortar" facility. Of course, there's lots of work to be done between now and then, but at least there's light at the end of the tunnel. Watching the hospital go up is fun, especially if you like to watch the big equipment.
And it's not only the construction. We keep upgrading the existing facility; moving things around and improving how we provide patient care.
The old tents need constant attention; from floors to liners to lights and doors. I often think, "If these walls could talk, what stories would they tell?"
And all this happens here in Khowst Province, Afghanistan. It's a very strange place in many ways. I was reminded of that when I saw the parking lot for the Host Nation workers here on the FOB. As you can see, lots of motorcycles in the valet parking lot.
Our Afghani workers are vital to the mission and they risk a lot to do this job. And they do so much with so little. Even watching the construction projects is interesting. They use a minimum of power tools, even bending rebar with hand tools. It reminds me of the Clark County Fair, the area where the demonstrate "old fashioned" ways to do things.
As you can see, things are not perfect here, and the crisis has not passed, but things are looking up. Like hiking in the mountains, you struggle upwards toward a peak and celebrate the conquest, only to see another, higher peak ahead. There will be many higher peaks, but at least this can't go on forever. Twelve months, fifteen months, whatever the Army decides, eventually they must send me home and that will be a glorious, wonderful day.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for caring.