PEOPLE: THE DIFFERENCE
Posting date: 2/4/10
Returned from: Afghanistan
Milblog: Embedded in Afghanistan
"It's not where you are but who you're with."
The ANA tend to move around a fair bit. Some of the areas where they work are considerably "different" from others, so everyone moves around to give everyone the chance to experience the different places.
The ETTs don't move around with the ANA; most of our guys have stayed in the same place for their whole tour. I'm one of the few that's moved around a lot, having been stationed at three different bases, each of which is very distinct from the other two, not only in the nature of the surrounding areas but also in the amenities (or lack thereof) available at the bases themselves.
Regardless of where I've been stationed, what's made the difference in my state of mind and the level of satisfaction I've gotten out of the job has been the people I've been with, both ANA and ETT. I can remember someone telling me years ago that it's not where you are but who you're with that often determines how much enjoyment you'll get out of your life. I've certainly found that to be true in my experiences, and probably never more so than here.
I have a great time with some of the ANA officers and platoons, and it's when I'm working with them that I really enjoy this job. Some of the others -- well, let's just say their attitude towards their work gives me the chance to practice being disagreeable, sarcastic, and occasionally downright mean. However, the cost is high for me when I act that way: I cease to have any fun at all on the job, which is why I only use that approach after exhausting all other methods of getting what I want out of them.Thankfully, more often than not it doesn't prove necessary to act that way.
A soldier holds the bridge steady for me as I walk across.