Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened...

So, one day a couple of weeks ago I was in our CP (office building), doing some work. There are two doors into the CP, one on either side. I came in the South entrance, finished some of my work, and started to leave out the North entrance, which is closer to our tents. As I am about to exit, I notice the following sign...

I wasn't sure what the sign was talking about so I opened the door and lo and behold, there are no steps, just a two and a half foot drop right onto the gravel below. First, you need to understand that there used to be stairs there, just a couple of hours before I went into the building. Second, there was no reason to believe that the stairs that had been there for two months would suddenly disappear. I went outside to investigate and apparently the deck that was being built between the Chinook CP and our CP was going to extend to the far end of each CP as well. After a little more investigation I found out that Captain Summers, one of our platoon leaders was the one who wrote the note. He did what anyone who entered the South side of the CP would have done when leaving through the North side of the CP; he opened the door, stepped out into space and fell two and a half feet onto his face into the rocks below. CPT Summers is a pretty happy-go-lucky type, so when I heard the story from him he was laughing about it and joking, but it seems that right after the incident he was quite upset, even uncharacteristically so. It may seem cruel to laugh at someone else's misfortune, but hey, it breaks up the monotony and he was actually no worse for the wear. The second photo is of the next day, after they had begun to build the deck outside of the CP exit and added a couple of planks to walk across.

Friday, July 10, 2009

4th of July at Shank

Although the 4th of July here was another work day, we still took the time to celebrate it in our own way. There were a number of competitions starting on the 3rd and continuing on the 4th. Since I was flying both days, I was unable to go see much of what was going on but I hear there were tournaments for chess, Call of Duty 4, cornhole, volleyball, softball and quite a few others.

Softball was a big draw with a multiday tournament and I believe they even flew in a team from Bagram to compete.

I was able to compete on our company's volleyball team. As I was waking up a little after noon, (I am currently flying at night), I heard some of the guys talking about competing in something. I got up to brush my teeth and shave and saw that they had started the volleyball tournament. We won the first game and I was able to play in the second game which we also won. However we fell apart on the third game and ended up losing to the medevac team. It was a blast though and very exciting. I think that everyone who participated in any of these events really enjoyed themselves. It was a nice break from the usual groundhog day routine, (great movie by the way!).

Some of the guys from our company, A Company Comancheros, watching the game before our 3rd volleyball match. Pictured left to right: SPC Raglin, SFC Nelson, CW2 Wilson, SPC Bryer, CW2 Hollandsworth, SPC Powell, CW2 Brillhart, and 1SG Horn. The team consisted of myself, CW2s Hollandsworth and Brillhart, 1SG Horn, and SPCs Powell and Leppink (not pictured).

Thursday, July 2, 2009

One of Our Medevac Missions

I am unable to go into much detail about what types of missions we do and how we accomplish them because of security considerations. Several people have asked me to tell them stories about some of the things we do and we ran across the following story in the Army Times:

This story is one that we took a small part in by launching and retrieving PFC Lucas "D" Dispennette to take him to the FOB Lagman (Qalat) medic station for treatment, where we were stationed on medevac standby.

A photo of the area around Qalat and FOB Lagman.
The Crew: Top left to right: SPC Spencer and SPC Alvis. Bottom: CW2 Mix.

Our crew consisted of myself, CW2 Justin Mix, SPC Anthony Alvis, and SPC Bradley Spencer, along with the crew of the medevac aircraft. It was very interesting to read this article because as we launch, half the time we don't know much about the circumstances of the patient(s) and we never find out what really happened in this much detail. It is great motivation when we find out that we were able to help somebody out to get the care that they needed within the required timeframe.

This is a photo of an Alexander the Great era fortress next to the city of Qalat.
The door inside of the medevac chase tent in which we stayed. We continued the tradition of writing the names of all of the crews that had been there and during what time periods and how many 9-lines they had launched on. This door was just our company, A Company Comancheros 4-101 AVN Regt.