OH CANADA |
January 04, 2007
Name: Doug Templeton
Posting date: 1/4/07
Stationed in: Kabul, Afghanistan
Hometown: Kansas City, MO
I've just recently returned from the beautiful and fruitful area of Afghanistan known as Kandahar. By beautiful I'm refering to the view from 25,000 feet as I sped away, and by fruitful I mean the ever-growing and popular crop known as the Poppy. Also known as 60% of Afghanistan's GNP, of which the government gets 0%.
I traveled there to train the Afghan National Army in a logistics skill set -- I'm one of a group of mobile trainers who go into harm's way to make sure the training course occurs at even the most remote locations. When I arrived at the NATO base I was completely surprised to find out that the Canadians have primary responsibility for security in that area. The truth is, I was surprised to find out that there was such a thing as a Canadian Army at all. Not only that, but a Canadian USO-type tour was there to perform. Always one for free entertainment I made my way out to the show, in weather approaching the freezing place on the old thermostat.
The show was fantastic. The Fables were the headliner band, along with a couple of comedians, some other singers, and three former contestants from the show "Rockstar INXS". Afterwards, this phenomenon of the existence of a Canadian Army still caught in my head, I was treated to some autographs from the performers. The comedian of the group seemed surprised to see an American in the line, and asked me what I thought about working alongside the Canadians. Before I could catch myself I responded, "Until I got here I didn't even know Canada had an Army. I thought of Canada as where Americans go to avoid our military." We all chuckled a bit. Then she asked how I thought things were going. Not one to miss an opportunity I responded, "Canada needs to send in the Mounties. They always get their man, and if they had been here earlier maybe old Osama would have been found by now."
Again we all laughed, and I went back to my Temporary Quarters (TENT) and realized what a great evening it had been. No war, no thinking about work, and above all I met some great people who came to a not-so-pleasant vacation spot to provide a much-needed break. They didn't care what country anyone was from, they just cared.