THE GREAT WALL |
August 28, 2007
THE GREAT WALL
Name: CAPT Doug Traversa
Posting date: 8/27/07
Returned from: Kabul, Afghanistan
Hometown: Tullahoma, TN
Milblog url: traversa.typepad.com
Although I never wrote about him on The Sandbox, anyone who read my blog Afghanistan Without a Clue will remember my friend 1st Lt Dany Barcan, Romanian Army. Dany and I played soccer together many times, as well as poker on Saturday nights. He even posted on my blog occasionally. But one of Dany’s biggest contributions to life at Camp Phoenix in Kabul was The Great Wall.
He and his unit created a most impressive monument to the troops who served at Camp Phoenix. In this photo you see the courtyard of the Romanian section of camp -- painted conexes with huge US and Romanian flags -- and in the center you can see the Great Wall itself.
Dany was a wheeler-dealer, a friend to everyone, the sort of guy who had never met a stranger. He spent his last month at Phoenix trading his gear to Americans for U.S. items. My hutmate ended up with a bust of Vlad the Impaler (the real Dracula). I ended up giving him my Air Force running suit in exchange for a Romanian uniform and field jacket. I also have a huge Romanian flag that I haven’t found a good place for yet. But I digress.
Dany decided to start asking everyone he met if they would donate a patch to the memorial he was creating, and within two weeks he had all the patches you see below.
You can play “Where’s Waldo” if you wish. See if you can identify patches from Italy, Greece, France, Mongolia, Romania, KBR (our contractor), Great Britain, Georgia, and even Gen Pritt, the Camp Phoenix Commander. Most importantly, you can see the names of many men and women from many countries who risked their lives to help rebuild Afghanistan. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to return to a peaceful Afghanistan and see the Great Wall still standing. If not, sharing these photos is my part in preserving its memory.
Dany and I pose after I had added my name to the wall.