"Got a letter in the mail"
Things are finally starting to move on the public affairs front. Although I still do not have any of my equipment, I should have it by week's end. A top of the line digital still camera, the Canon EOS 1-D Mark II with Lenses, A Macbook Pro for editing and a Sony HD A1U Video Camera. Allegedly the materials were already purchased and I should have them and soon. There was alot of resistance to the Sony, as it is not a typical inventory item in the system...well of course it isn't, it is brand spanking new and the best in class. By taking this camera with me, I will be able to shoot high-definition video over the next year and get cinema quality imagery of our troops, the windswept lands of the roof of the world and the people of Afghanistan. Needless to say, I am excited.
The people are starting to come together and that is where I am seeing the limitless potential of this journey. I go, go, go and sometimes go a little more. That can be exhausting. Now I have found my match in the men that will help me tell the story of these great Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines.
Mark was just promoted to Major this week...by his son (see the photo). His son is now on his third deployment since 9-11, this one he volunteered for just to join his Dad. Mark is a good man. He holds his head high and sees the big picture, knowing that his job is to get Afghanistan "back on the front burner." He is already looking to form partnerships with hospitals in the U.S. that might work with us for vital emergency care for Afghanis that need it.
We were just joined by another officer, Paul. Paul left the active force in 2002 and was listed in the I.R.R. Spent the last few years at an Ivy League Law School following his service and had just graduated in the fall of last year, was planning to propose to his sweetheart on Christmas Eve, when, on December 22nd, he got his "recalled to Active Duty" letter. As the old marching call goes..."Got a letter in the mail, go to War or go to jail." So he proposed early, they got married, and he is off to a challenging start, but he is a first class officer, a great mind and guy who sees the forest and the trees for what they are, opportunities.
Another member of the public affairs team is a staff officer for one of our Senators back home.
My Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge, or NCOIC, is joining us in about a week. He is one of the most respected audio-visual producers in the defense community. Personally selected by the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, Tom is going to get some extraordinary footage and produce some worldclass videos of our time in Central Asia.
Like I said, we are building a great team.