Monday, January 5, 2009
Call of the Wild: Cobra Two in Afghanistan
Here is a winter message from Aaron Self who is doing some contract work in Afghanistan. As you know, he was my number two on the C.O.B.R.A. Team during our tour in Iraq in 2004:
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"It is finally snowing in Kabul. We started the day with training. The local guards were shocked when I showed up outside with my glacier glasses and coat. They knew it meant we were training in the snow. There was a lot of gesturing to the sky followed by a shiver motion. With the help of my trusted friend, Bahir, I gave them the speech about how the enemy will not take it easy on you when it is snowing, raining, etc. But, being a big softy, I told them that whoever finishes each task first can throw snow balls at the others until they complete the task. It seemed to work, as I got them laughing and enjoying the training while still adding a type of distraction to work through.
It is a beautiful sight. The snow is blanketing everything and everyone knows that even the Taliban get cold. The snow means there will be less attacks, but just like in the west, it inspires a certain romantic feeling among the people. I promised a snowball fight after lunch with the entire staff. I have a feeling I am going to get my butt kicked. It is kind of like a ski lodge with automatic weapons. Two of my favorite things.
We have some dogs that we use to warn us of any otherwise undetected dangers. There is a white one that is named "White Dog" by the guards. I have renamed her using the Dari name for "dog" and the Dari name for "snow". She is now known as "Barf Sack". I find this hilarious because I say "Barf Sack" all day, and they have no idea why it is so funny to me. I have included some pictures for your enjoyment."
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Stay safe, buddy.
Today marks thirty-five years that I have been married to my best friend, Debbie. God bless you, babe. You are my greatest blessing in life…
Charles M. Grist