100 DAYS |
December 10, 2007
Name: SPC Beaird
Posting date: 12/10/07
Stationed in: Afghanistan
Milblog url: allexpensespaidafghanvacation
100 days until I am home.
100 days until I can have a tasty, cold beer.
100 days until I can see the face of a woman and not think it is a rare sight.
100 days until I don't have to bring a gun and wear body armor and a helmet each time I go "out".
100 days until I can travel down a road without wondering if a culvert, pothole, parked car, or pile of rocks is going to explode as I pass by.
100 days until I don't have to analyze people and cars up and down, looking for weapons or signs they may be a threat or a suicide bomber.
100 days until I will no longer be woken up in the middle of the night because someone is attacking the place I call home, or we're being spun up for a QRF mission at any hour.
100 days until I see my family and friends again.
100 days until I am home.
I am glad to say we are now under the 100-days-remaining milestone for being in country. It’s hard to imagine I have been here for eight and a half months, and that it’s been 11 months since I left home to start our mobilization training at Fort Bragg. We’ve gotten word about our replacements coming and I can say I should be home in Arizona by the end of March -- maybe the first week of April at the latest (nothing is ever set in stone in the Army). We have also heard that with the new National Guard and Reservist deployments that the total deployable time will be reduced from the standard 15 months to 12 months max, including mobilization time -- meaning they’ll probably only be in country for 10 months. Lucky bastards.
Many higher ups will say soldiers on deployments become complacent or start to let their guard down once hitting the 100 day mark. Maybe this is true somewhat, but I assure you that I and my platoon and PRT* are just as vigilant when we go outside the wire as when we first arrived. I think what changes after being here so long in this environment is that much of the “shock” value for certain things that we experience or hear about from intel briefings has worn down to a certain extent. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now I just have to make it through a cold Afghan winter.
We had our first rain in over two months, which left a good sight on the surrounding mountains: snow. A sign we’re that much closer to leaving. When we first arrived in April there was still snow on the caps of the mountains, and with the recent drop in temperatures I imagine the snowfall from a couple days ago will be there until next spring.
Here is a video slideshow I put together from pictures of our first three months in country.
* PRT: Physical Reconstruction Team, a mix of Army and Air Force
whose mission is rebuilding infrastructure (water, dams, roads,
electricity), local government, health facilities, and schools. My
infantry platoon makes up the security forces side for the PRT,
accompanying civil affairs teams on various missions, among other
duties while in theater.