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Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.

TERROR PLOT ON THE FOB |

October 24, 2011

Name: Major Mark Duber
Stationed in: Afghanistan
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Milblog: Warbird Doctor Diaries
Email: markduber@gmail.com

Yesterday at morning report we learned of an unknown hidden danger within the borders of our FOB. A cell of approximately 13 insurgents somehow infiltrated the confines of our base as local Afghan national workers over the last year; two of the insurgents even made it to a fortified secure location. An intelligence tip focused on two insurgents initially which then opened up to the larger group. The insurgents plan was a coordinated attack within our FOB for maximum casualties. We were not informed of the specifics but know the Afghans involved were apprehended and their terror mission was debunked. 

Framed Duber TERROR PLOTWhen I first arrived to the FOB months ago I was extremely suspicious of everything, and my senses were peaked. Over time they blunted as the feeling of security increases from days of monotony. If thirteen plotting insurgents can make it on this base without notice, a reevaluation of security measures is in need. My wary will restart the process of questioning everything, and my fellow team has indicated they are doing the same. Barbed wire, large foreboding walls, armed guard towers and gates apparently are not enough. Internal tension and security measures have changed to a noticeable level here and I would assume the same is occurring throughout the theater. 

After an exposed terror plot and temporary loss of electrical power on the FOB, my promotion ceremony eventually took off. About ten individuals from higher command came in addition to members of both my team and Charlie Company. Joe J introduced me to the crowd and then I gave an impromptu speech. It was a memorable experience, being promoted in theater; an event that I will carry forever. Being a member of the U.S. army is an honor in itself, but when you compound this with the heroes I work with on a daily basis this honor is elevated beyond expectation.

If there was one less-elevated note of yesterday it was that my family could not be there with me; especially my wife Melissa, who was promoted to major in the U.S. army yesterday as well. Melissa is an emergency medicine doctor for the U.S. army at Fort Knox. My wife and I have lived parallel lives since we started medical school together. We accepted the military scholarship and were commissioned to second lieutenants together, went to medical school together, were promoted to captain together, were together during residency training, and stationed at Fort Knox as staff physicians together. If there was ever an example of soul mates we would be the definition. We are by far stronger together than apart, and our dreams are one and the same (Disclaimer: a few minor exceptions exist).

For the record, I am the senior major, as I was promoted 8 ½ hours earlier; eastern standard time is behind Afghanistan time. Somehow that fact will not fly in our household; call it a gut feeling. I think my wife will just consider me a major pain in the ass; domestic business as usual in the Duber household. 

P.S. Congratulations on your promotion, beautiful.

Comments

That's beautiful. Okay, not the terror plot part, but the rest of it is awesome.

Hello major Duber:

we appreciate your service. Iam a Viet-nam veteran myself so I can relate to your insecurity when you first landed in country. its kind of difficult to tell whos who when the people that you are there protecting look just a like all they have to do is change uniforms and get false ID and they would be in business. As far as your wife being your soul mate that just gives you a confirmation that theirs a Higher Power.

Wonderful story! I'd like to echo the above comment saying that we all truly appreciated your service and sacrifice for all of us state's-side.

What I like about this subjuct is that everybody rather b religious or non religious get together and pray. I believe now that Iam striving to be God like, that if u dont put God in your life that u wont accomplish fully in what youre trying to do in life.

I AM A VETERN ALSO , AND I UNDERSTAND YOUR SITUATION . I HAD SOMETHING SIMULAR IN MY CIVILLIAN LIFE HAPPEN TO ME . I APPRECIATE YOUR SERVICE AND I APPRECIATE YOU.I HAVE LEARNED ONE THING IN MY 54YEARS ON THIS GREAT EARTH IS TO LEARN FROM EVERY LESSON PRESENTED ME .GOD BLESS YOU AND MAY ALL YOUR WISHES COME TRUE .

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