Friday, April 27, 2007

Bye from Afghanistan

Well my last Blog from Afghanistan, there were times I never thought this would happen and times I wanted it to happen that day. It’s been an experience and an adventure I will never forget and will always remember some of the things I’ve seen and done for the last year. I never thought it would be like this and never thought I would do and see the things I’ve done or seen. So a year in Afghanistan and I’m heading home, at times it seems the year went by fast and then I think about how much Bayleigh has grown and I realize its been along time and I’ve missed a lot in her life and my family’s life.. So the next year you can bet I will be making up for every minute...

My Mom asked me if I could go back to the day I signed my contract with the Army and if I would do it again. I’m not really sure what I would do, I’ve learned a lot and done a lot of things only a few civilians can say they’ve done and seen, but I’ve missed a lot of things as well. It’s hard to decide but I’m glad I did this and I’m glad I had the opportunities I’ve had over here. I will miss the people I’ve made friends with. I will miss the “good kids” and the Elders. I can’t say I will miss them enough to stay any longer but its time to be with my family and friends back home. Its time to continue on with my life back in the States, there is so much I have missed and ready to do all those things as much as I can.

I have a lot of memories I will take with me, from all the Med Caps to all the lunches with the Elders. It’s been fun and I have a great story to tell when I get home and can’t wait to tell it. I will always remember the smiles from the kids when we gave them something or when we returned their thumbs up... There is still a lot of work to be done over here but I know people will continue my goal and hopefully things will continue to change for the better and will one day be the Afghanistan of the 60’s and 70’s.

I hope all of you know how much help you gave and how much easier you made my job and time over here. If you weren’t sending boxes of clothes you were sending goodies for me. I appreciate everything all of you did more than you know. I never thought I would receive so much support but you guys are heroes and I’m so glad I had the chance to talk with so many amazing people. You guys are great and I hope you continue to help support the troops and the people of Afghanistan. Thank you all for everything you have done...

Well I guess its time for my final sign off from Afghanistan; I plan to keep writing in my Blog about my family, friends and everything going on in my life. I hope you all keep reading and stay in touch. Thanks again for everything and thanks so much for reading my Blog. You are all great Americans and I’m so glad I live in a country that supports its military as much as all of you do.

So long from Afghanistan...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Wrapping Up!

Well my days are numbered and I love every minute that counts off the clock. We’ve been staying pretty busy the last couple weeks and I haven’t had a chance to get on here but I’m glad we are keeping busy cause its passing the time away pretty fast. I got an email a few days ago from Shaun Pierce who is the Promotions Director at 101.5 The Word. The Word is a Christian station out of Pittsburgh, PA and they want me to do an interview about my experience over here and the things we’ve done to help the people. I was pretty shocked to say the least that a station so far from home was enjoying what I do and the goal we are trying to reach. I got to thinking though and that’s the reason all of you read this, not because you know me but because you appreciate what we do as Soldiers and as Humanitarians. I enjoy what I do and glad that all of you enjoy reading what I do and the life I live over here.

So back to my busy week, we had 3 backpack drops mostly from the donations that all of you guys have brought in. I’m still getting box after box each day!! I’ve received stuff from Boys and Girl Scouts from around the country and things from people on other Deployments themselves. It’s over whelming what we can do as a Nation and Americans. We are the best Country in the world and I think once we get together we show that in so many ways. (I drift a lot don’t I?) So my Hero for this Blog will be all the Boys and Girl Scouts that have donated so much stuff. Cookies, clothes, shoes, school supplies. Thank you all so much for being such a big help. I hope you guys know how great it is to see kids helping in our cause and getting involved in World Problems. When I was a kid I never thought I would be sitting here today and I never knew much about the problems outside of my own, but I’m glad you kids are learning now. So thanks for the wonderful cookies the Thin Mints are the best!! And thanks for helping me out and sending all the stuff for the kids here…

We had a big Humanitarians drop last week as well giving out food and clothing to 20 families who lost their homes with all the recent rain and flooding the country has received, but the rain is really a good thing for the country, they have had over 30 years of drought. So we handed out oil and beans, rice, flour and then shoes and clothes and blankets. Most of the shoes we gave out were what we had left over from all the shoes we bought this winter. We are trying our hardest to get rid of all the stuff we had in our Conex.

If you still want to keep sending things here is the new address. I will be leaving within the next 2 weeks so Major Roper will fall on the privilege of picking up all the mail!! Once his replacement gets here from South Carolina I will give you his address.

Mark Roper
Camp Phoenix
APO, AE 09320

Well a short Blog but I just wanted to give you an update and I’ve been getting lots of questions on the address. Anyway I will have one more entry before I leave country and will keep you all updated when I get home.