Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A little time to myself.....

Well I haven't posted in awhile almost 2 months now, just about everyone knows I was on leave but some people (wife and mom) could wait for me to get a new one out here so enjoy.

Its been a pretty busy few weeks since I got back here to Phoenix, we finally got some more money to start a few more projects and started 3 new ones. We are building some more bathroom facilities at the Aziz High School we finished last month. We also started the construction on the new road south of Phoenix.. Here is the story I fixed up for that..

Despite significant progress since the Taliban were deposed in 2001, Afghanistan still faces daunting challenges defeating an active insurgency, recovering from over two decades of civil strife, dealing with years of severe drought, and mainly rebuilding a shattered infrastructure. The deepest need in the infrastructure is the improvement of the less than standard road system.
Recent floods have put deep scars in the land along the roads in Afghanistan. Large stones and huge gashes - two or three feet deep - run from the nearby hills through the farmland, tracing the floods path. Along with the devastation of war, the huge problem with erosion and lack of funds for quality workmanship are major factors for Afghanistan's poor road system. In addition, the community and villages duty to provide regular maintenance to the roads have been overlooked for many years.
As of last week the 1-180th out of Durant, OK, and their Commanders Emergency Relief Projects (C.E.R.P) broke ground on the first of several projects in the Kabul area. This is the first road construction project the Battalion has focused on for improvements. After 5 months of 180th missions down sarak e barq udh kehyl (Udh Keyl Power Plant Street) the Commander, LTC Bobby Yandell along with the help of 41st BCT Brigadier General Douglas Pritt, decided a change was needed for the people of Udh Kehyl village.
The project is a 2 month plan costing 98,500, this is a great improvement in the area considered to be the poorest, and worst area in Kabul. The specific road is full of huge pot holes and deep cuts in the land not allowing the road drainage to the river in the south. Highly traveled and heavy populated this will improve the area immensely and is a great addition to our current work with the nation of Afghanistan. The road improvement and all of the current work with Afghanistan is a great step forward the soldiers of the 1-180th need and a huge accomplishment for the U.S. in this rebuilding nation. The Battalion will continue building schools, wells and continue the much needed road construction for the country. Afghanistan is still years away from the country's standards in the 60's but with the help of National Guard Units like 1-180th the country can only move in a new direction.

While we were at the ground breaking I ran into a little boy wearing something I never thought I would see over here, a Notre Dame jacket. I thought this was the coolest thing I've seen since we got here. Thousand miles away and a little boy running around with my favorite Team on his back.. Just a sign...

Time seems for the most part passing pretty fast, the 3weeks Ive been back have gone by pretty fast. This is great cause I dreaded the time back here when I had to get back on the plane at the end of leave.

It was great being home just went by too fast and seemed like I didnt get to do everything I wanted to. I had so much fun playing with Bayleigh and spending time with my beautiful wife and parents. I just had the toughest time ever getting back here I don't dont cry much (just ask Jodi) but I cried like a baby when I got back on that plane. I held back till I we got in the air and let it out in the tiny bathroom for about 30 minutes. Blaming myself for leaving and as stupid as it may sound to some, felt my heart tearing apart inside. The only thing I can really compare it too was when we all lost Hoover back in High School. It was honestly the toughest thing Ive done in my 24 years. Until I got back to Phoenix all I could think about was Baylieghs little blue eyes looking deep in mine and I could tell she just wanted to know why Daddy had to leave her again. Its tough and as much as people think they can compare it to something THEY CAN'T. I just know only families that go through this can tell you what it does to you. My wife always tells other women with a deployed husband "this deployment will make or break you as a family and as partners.'' She is right when I was home I felt a love so strong and passionate for my family I've never felt before. I love those 2 girls with all I can but there was something while I was home and really felt it on the way back that got me and I never will leave those girls again.

This is not a family business and it takes a different breed to do what we do, I really dont think I have what a lot of these other soldiers have but I do know I have 2 beautiful and wonderful girls at home and a wonderful family in general waiting on me to get back home...

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