From there we immediately went to have a teleconference with our peers in Afghanistan. The unit we are replacing this summer now has a face. It was good to connect with them and to understand their view of the situation. Suffice it to say that I think we are going to do an extraordinary job over the course of the next fifteen months.
After that we took some mass training time during which we watched a series of video clips. It was footage of the preferred methods of the enemy, the infamous IED or Improvised Explosive Device. It reminded me of the losses with the Oregon National Guard and of my wife's work at commemorating the loss of 1,000, then a year later 2,000 servicemembers lives on the step of the Capitol of Oregon. It has been a difficult few years for so many.
Who do you know that has been touched by this war? I mean personally. Deployed their husband of wife to war for a year or more? Has lost a friend or relative? Had to deliver the news to a family of the loss of their son? How many of you have volunteered to help those people that are so directly impacted by this war? Offered to cut the lawn or help to do the food shopping?
I guess what I mean is that there are so many doing so much and yet so many more that are not asked to do anything. I think it is sad, as if the greatest nation in history has so many of her citizens that won't do anything unless directed to do so.
There are ways to make a difference. To help those you serve. To help those in harm's way. Ways to help the people of a foreign land to stand on their own two feet and build a nation for themselves. I'll write more about that next.
For now, I am way tired. I think I am going to call it a night.