The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

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.


June 26, 2013

Name:  1SG James L. Gibson
Stationed in: Afghanistan
Hometown: Forest Grove, Oregon
Milblog: The Life of Top

It is hot. Standing outside for more than five minutes leads to the all too familiar beads of sweat that start to drip down the small of your back. We are starting to finalize our move out of country, which has led to me spending more of my time outdoors. I don’t mind, and have actually enjoyed the change of pace. Our last containers are packed up and we are going to start our trek home this week. In all actuality, this should be the last Saturday that I type on this keyboard.

Our Brigade Command Sergeant Major came out to visit this last week. One thing worth mentioning is that he plans on making some moves with the First Sergeants in the Squadron. It looks as if I will get an opportunity to lead a line troop. Although I would have much rather led a line troop during the deployment, I will enjoy the opportunity as it comes. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Troop I have now, and will be extremely sad to have to leave them. The team that the Commander and I have built is one of the best. We have had the least amount of trouble out of any Company/Troop/Battery sized element in the Brigade, retention numbers are through the roof, and my Soldiers kick ass. I have been very fortunate to have the Troop that I have now.

This deployment wasn’t quite what I thought it was going to be. I expected more action (although I am happy we didn’t see much) than we received. Most of our deployment was spent sending equipment home, accounting for property, and supporting Squadron missions. Our Squadron, as a whole, has done great things providing the Afghan Army with a strong foundation that they can carry forward into the future. My Soldiers continue to impress me and make my job one of the easiest I have ever had. My Platoon Sergeants seem to be mind readers, as they finish jobs before I ask them to be done. God, I love this Troop.

By the time I leave here, my blog will have over 11,000 hits in seven months, a number I never dreamed of hitting. I want to thank everyone for taking time out of their day to read my ramblings. Thank you for your comments on my blog. Thank you for motivating me to write more. What started as something to keep friends and family informed has turned into something that has been read by thousands from a total of 64 different countries. This has pushed me to continue to write. I will write a book, and have actually started it over the past month (which is why my posts have become less frequent).

I figure I will write one more post during the process of going home, but cannot promise anything as I am sure I will be pretty busy. I do promise to keep writing back at home, both on the book and this blog. Thank you again everyone for taking time out of your day to read this. Keep my Soldiers in your prayers as we start this final leg of the deployment.


I appreciate not only your writing, but all the writing I read on The Sandbox and on connected links. Thank you for writing. I hope all goes well with you.

I second that!

Thanks for the post James. I'm headed TO Afghanistan soon and hope writing/blogging will be something that helps the time pass.

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