Tuesday, June 30, 2009

PRT Trip pics posted

As promised, but a little late (like everything else around here) are more pics from my PRT trip courtesy of the boys from the team. There are a couple good ones too (I think).

Also - I posted a couple of fresh project pictures in BAF10.

The guy in the contracting office finally got to me. I was a little ticked off today as I still don't have any of the three vehicles we ordered back in MAY - and the order made it to contracting (final stop) the first week in June. Still no trucks!

Nothing in the mail today - but it sure was nice to get the 56 boxes (count'em) from Eastside Community Church in Wichita KS! (I didn't know there were nice people there either! :-) All the boxes had GOOD stuff in them too!!! Useful stuff! All the guys/gals that opened them were happy and had big smiles. VERY nice of them to do that! All for Independence Day too. They wrote a nice note in each of the boxes of thanks and gratitude for our service. Nice touch!

The wind picked up significantly today for the first time in a about 2-3 weeks. It's been breezy, but today was straight WINDY. Lots of blowing dirt to eat. The shower will sure feel good tonight, but we are still limited to 3 min! That will be a real treat when I get home... Taking a LONG 5 min shower. (see, I told you my perspective on things has changed). How many of you women think 5 min is a long shower??? Try 3 min - goes for the gals too. Now granted there is nobody checking the clock and many do not abide by this rule, but most do because they respect the rule first, and 2nd, there is a water shortage on BAF - all the water is trucked in daily. Also, there is limited HOT water for so many folks - so those that abide are helping those who take advantage (and don't care) and shower as long as they like. Drives me crazy, but what can you do with these kids? Just remind them once in a while... I do.

Not much else to say today... I'm fine. Really. I'm still in the same routine. Walk to/from work and most places around BAF when time permits. I only drive to the far out places when I need too.

Hope you enjoy the pics - I'll post some from the party coming up - that should be a LOT of fun. We are holding a Cornhole tournament. Lots of interest in the game - 24 folks already signed up! should be a good time. Structures guys put together the board sets for us and the EA (engineering assistants/surveyors) team is going to set up the official courts!!! :-) It's fun to be an engineer!!!


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Good/Bad News

That all depends on your perspective - and while I'm on that topic, let me tell you my perspective sure has changed in the last 5 months since I started this back in JAN! Yes, believe it or not, my orders started on 29 JAN. That's when my perspective on things started to change.

More on that in a different post - it's not what I planned to tell you.

Good News/Bad news - The good news is I didn't miss RIB NIGHT!!! The Bad news is I didn't miss RIB NIGHT - I would have if my trip wasn't cancelled this morning - bummer. But it's still not out of the question - so - hopefully sometime soon. Also, I got the two disc's with the pictures from the PRT trip (good news), but I forgot them in the office so you will have to wait till tomorrow night till I can post them (bad news).

Also - more bad news - I missed church today cause I was working so hard... :-) Seriously - something came up just before 1430 (J-Time) and I couldn't make it. Next Sunday, J-Time moves to 1030 so that will work out a LOT better for me anyway.

I wish you could see the Chapel NeXt website! Not many web pages around here are kept up to date, but THAT one is! I think God is updating it Himself! It's very professional and lots of good information! Looks good too!

So I planned on getting in bed early - that's didn't work out too well - I'm sitting here keeping all the people concerned about me up to date - Oh, yeah - that's not such a BAD thing to have a few friends who love you! That's GOOD NEWS for me!

Thanks to all of you!


Saturday, June 27, 2009

More pics comin

This is a short post - just wanted to let you know I got some pics from TSgt Lajoie and I posted them here:


I also added a couple pics from the Blackwater project in Baf9


I stopped by to get some more PRT trip pics - the guys said they had two full CD's for me - but I couldn't find them late this afternoon so I'll try again to tomorrow.

More interesting pics coming very soon!


Friday, June 26, 2009

PRT Trip

Had some more excitement! I was tasked with a trip off base to do an engineer analysis of a generator installation. I took one of my Power Pro guys who is a Master Electrician in his civilian occupation. We were on our way and we ran into a little snag. That's about all I can tell you. We did get to complete our mission, but it was a very long day and I'm certainly not getting any younger. After ALL DAY in all that gear, my back was telling me "You know, your not as young as you used to be!!" I thought when I came back into my hooch and took off my stuff... I was light as a feather and if I wasn't so sore, I'm pretty sure I could have dunked a basketball... Now - I know SOME of you thought that was funny!!!

I posted some pictures here: Yes, I'm even IN some of them!


Not to mention - it was over 100 degrees in the shade... Yeah, Yeah - low humidity... It was still HOT! I was on my feet for the better part of 6 hours.

Great assignment though - got to get out and meet some locals and try and further our cause with a little HA (Humanitarian Aide) - you see the picture with the two little kids, we gave them some pens, pencils, and crayons - and they came back with a wheel barrel full of Pepsi/Juice/cookies, etc - of course, not for us!!! But to SELL! And not cheap either! $1 per Pepsi - and it wasn't cold! Someone needs to teach these little ones about entrepreneurship!

All in all - a good week - well, since it quieted down a little after the rocket attack that seemed to make the news pretty fast.

Still don't have my Truck!!! And on top of that, some idiot decided to put the generator (it's a big generator) for the Cherry Beasley Camp in MY PARKING SPOT!!! The power went out the other night and was out for about 10 hours - the problem?? Well, a transformer blew. That's not so bad - happens all the time right?? Well, you'd think SOMEONE making a little more money than ME would have thought about that- but apparently not. So - the only solution was to "ORDER" one - which as we all know, EVERYTHING around here is "ON ORDER" - and we wait. So there's no telling how long that stupid generator will be in my parking spot - but - that's OK - cause I don't have a truck to put there ANYWAY! :-)


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Time Out


Just posted some interesting (IMHO) pics - a mixture - one from the exciting night.

Also - had a going away roast for Col Reed today - he will be leaving soon and at one time was in control of over 1600 Airmen! (wow)

He's a great guy and great leader and it's always great to go to these things and get another piece of wisdom to add to my battle book.

And a couple of updated project pictures for the engineers! I'm sure they can appreciate all the hard work that is being accomplished.

Should be an exciting day tomorrow - look for some even MORE interesting pictures tomorrow night (my time).


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bagram in the News

Well, last night Bagram made the news. You can go to Google News and search Bagram for the details. Needless to say, nobody got much sleep last night and there was a lot of excitement! I'll definitely be going to bed a little early tonight!

I'm OK and everyone in our group is OK. We had a good Sunday - Father's Day. I hope to Skype with both my Father and my Father-in-Law today - hopefully here in the next few minutes.

Chapel NeXt service was very good. There were 3 other guys from my unit that have been attending - it's nice to see them there.

I'm in charge of putting together our 4th of July Celebration for the unit. I can't give away too many details here, but it's going to be a lot of fun and I've arranged it so we will get some time off of work - something our Airmen really seem to like.

I'm fairly confident I'll be getting my truck back tomorrow - of course, there is no reason to really believe that the way things go around here - but I'll be happy to post again tomorrow if in fact I do get it.

I watched a movie on Friday - Enemy at the Gates. It was OK. Pretty good story about a Russian and German sniper duel. Supposedly a true story - I'm not sure about that and I didn't have the energy today to verify.

I got a very nice envelope filled with three HUGE patriotic cards today from some nice people in CA (and here I thought the only nice people in CA were my sisters family!)

Of course that was a joke - I don't need a bunch of hate mail about all the nice folks who DO live out there. When we went to the Yurok Reservation for a reserve project several years ago, I met some very nice people!

Hopefully we get some sleep tonight - please say an extra prayer it's not as exciting as last night! And for those of you who can, please pray for the families of the ones we lost and those who were injured last night . I have been and will continue to do so.

Happy FATHER'S DAY to all the Fathers reading!

Oh, that reminds me... I wanted to share a quote with you I read earlier today:

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made so and kept so by the exertions of men better than himself. -- John Stuart Mill


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fishing in Afghanistan

I couldn't take it any longer. I was walking around today and it just looked like the perfect spot. So I set up my pole, tied on a rock, and went FISHING!


Well - I didn't catch anything. Of course, what the heck did I expect to catch using a ROCK for bait! :-) But I thought you all might enjoy the pictures anyway.

I'm doing OK - I was supposed to get my truck back today - but that didn't happen - much like many other things around here. One day you think things are going to go a certain way, and it seems too often something completely different happens. That's OK though! It's all in God's plan. Like I've said before, I'm not here to figure OUT God's plan, just execute it.

Rib night again tonight - just got back in my hooch and I think I'll enjoy some homemade cookies that Heidi sent - Umm, Umm GOOD!

Hope you all are well!


Sunday, June 14, 2009

CAS Brief

I had the pleasure to get invited to the CAS briefing. I had heard it was very good and I decided to give it a try. I was VERY impressed with the professionalism of the all the guys and especially to the Cpt and 1Lt who gave us our briefing. We spent 4+ hours on the flight line and got some seriously close-up pictures with them and their machines!

The Cpt was an A-10 pilot and the 1Lt was a "wizzo" - WSO - Weapons Systems Officer. The A-10 is a single seater and the F15 Strike Eagle is a 2 person job. 1 Pilot and 1 WSO. They let us sit thru their typical morning pre-flight briefings and then we went out to get a close look at the planes. Check out the pics here!


Yes - I'm in several shots including the pilot seat of the F15! No - we didn't get to fly, that's probably as close as I will ever get.

All in all - a great day. The briefing went into church time - I'm sure God forgives me! I did sing him a couple songs of praise though! :-)

And of course, you all know now what Sunday means!!! RIB NIGHT!!! Um, Um GOOD!

Everything else is great with me - my brother, Debbie and Mom sent me another nice box - I got the 7 ball today! Good feeling and included was an ITune's gift card - nice since I lost the last two I had before I got a chance to use them! Good thing the games are only $.99! :-)

So I'm off to download a few new items to enhance my latrine visits! Hope you all are well! I am.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Picture This!

First of all - the Baxter's really came up with a great box to send! Homemade cookies, and some other stuff.. Did I mention homemade cookies???

Included with the jerky, lemon drops, Twizzlers, etc... (all stuff I really like) - was a set of Bose® in-ear Headphones which pair up very nicely with my new ITouch!!!

I thought the headphones that it came with the ITouch were pretty nice - until I put in the Bose®! As Aiden would say - "OH YEAH!" And did I menetion the homeade cookies?

Soldier Angels came through in a BIG (literally) way! I couldn't be more impressed or surprised that one organization would give so much! I've likely received more than 30 personal cards and letters. I answer all of them (initially). That's not including countless cards and letters for the Airmen, 14 (at least) packages and today was the kicker... 56 Sand and Cool scarves received along with a HUGE box of coffee and enough toiletry supplies for the ENTIRE TEAM! Not to mention a host of other items... magazines, huge box of beef sticks, 4 cases of popcorn and a WHOLE LOT MORE! We are all now fat and sassy. What a blessing to have contacted these people. And it took only 1 (count'em) simple request.

The sand and cool scarves arrived in perfect time. Today was a little warmer - but I know it's only going to get hotter and windier. Plus we had Commanders call and it was a perfect time to issue them out. Everyone really appreciates the very nice and thoughtful gifts!


Projects are good - very good actually, HVAC has been putting in a lot of extra hours on a critical project, the dirt boys are very dirty... meaning they are spending a lot of time and energy on one of the priority projects we have and several others... the electricians are now in high demand and spread out all over BAF working on a host of different projects and the Utilities guys are just plain working - here, there, everywhere - out and about - and on all kinds of stuff - Utilities or not! Not forgetting the Engineering Team - surveying just about every square inch of Bagram it seems. Every time I go somewhere - I see one of the EA's. The structures guys haven't slept since they've been here. If I told you all the things they have done - that would be the only reasonable conclusion.

Things are great and I am very proud of this team. Everyone (not just the guys out in the field) is doing a great job. The admin folks are awesome. We recruited a few guys from the field to provide "expertise" in some specially required fields/areas and they really stepped up. People are working in and out of their specialties - but nobody is complaining - at least not to me. This has been a very rewarding tour so far. I just hope and pray the 2nd half of the ball game is just as good as the first and we will all be fine!

A great week - maybe the best week yet! They keep getting better!

A HUGE thanks you to ALL of you reading because I know in my heart you are praying and supporting me and the team and for that - I am truly grateful!


Monday, June 8, 2009


The other day I got back late and there was a good photo-op with the moon. Posted the pics in BAF8. Also posted are a couple pics with the guys who built and set up the Jason Cunningham memorial - a high visibility project that they did a GREAT job with!

Got another macadamia nut package from the Hickam Chief who will be here soon!!! :-)

Other than that - I've been even busier than usual the last few days - but things should calm down now for the rest of the week. Looks like temperatures are going to start warming up a little - the Soldiers Angels assured me the cool and sand scarves are in the mail! They will likely come just in time!

Got to Skype with Aiden, Jeff and Heidi yesterday after church! That was a treat. Oh Yeah man was up to his tricks eating a banana and drinking his dad's smoothie. Was great to see them.

Pam is on - see you later! :-)


Friday, June 5, 2009

Movie Day

I finally got some time today to watch a movie and eat some pistachio nuts! (and some breadsticks) I watched a movie called Death Race and it was OK - a little violent.... :-) The good guys won in the end.

Was nice to see both my parents today! Even though they are in two very different states and I am still half way around the world - technology is awesome.

Good mail week too - packages galore from my family (parents and sister) and lots of cards and letters of thanks and encouragement! Thank you all for thinking about me and praying for me and my team.

I still haven't gotten any more pics from the Col pinning - didn't see anyone in particular today - but I hope to get them tomorrow and I'll post them when I can.

Apparently there is a very good video of the while thing - obviously, that will not be posted - but a good thing for Col Lehman to have!

Not much else to say today - hope to get to talk with the grand kids this weekend. I miss all of them and my kids - but most of all my beautiful wife who has stood by me all 27 (almost) years I've been in the military. In fact, most of you know we will have to celebrate our anniversary while I'm still here. 27 will certainly be a year to remember, but not for the lavish vacation, party, trip, dinner or any of that. We have had some interesting anniversaries over the years, but this one will top them all. Well - at least until we get to 50!!! :-)

Hope you all are well and I miss all of you too.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Col pinned

We pinned Col Lehman today - his effective date of promotion was 1 JUN 09. It was a VERY nice ceremony and I had the honor as one of his "pinners" - I was truly humbled when he asked me to do that for him and much obliged! (can you tell I've been in the south too long??!!)


I'll post more pictures as they become available - probably tomorrow sometime. See - that's what happens when I'm not taking the pictures.

Col Reed presided over the ceremony and said some really great things about Col Lehman and us as a Utilities Detachment team. They (the top leadership) all recognise what a great job we are doing here and the fact that we ARE making a difference - both on and off Bagram with our interaction with the locals.

What a great thing!

I had dinner with the 955th Chief last night - we had a good talk and a great meal! (RIBS!) All in all, a good week - had it's moments, but I'm still smiling and happy to be here working for the Lord. I'll be glad when it's over! :-)

Soldiers Angels continues to flood me with cards and letters (this is a good thing) and I answer them all. I stay away from answering emails because there is simply not enough time for that. I did answer one just today - the email I received was so well written and heartfelt, I would have felt too guilty not responding! I just had too... :-) There are SO MANY people who appreciate and support us with thanks every chance they get - and I never realized to such a great extent. God Bless all of you for that!

Someone sent in a big batch of Starbucks coffee - (ground) and that was a plus! We still have lots of Starbucks whole bean coffee - but I'm too lazy to grind it myself. Actually - I just make such a mess doing it - it's cleaning up the mess I despise. Good coffee, but certainly not worth $5 a cup! Nice to drink for free, but you won't catch me in a Starbucks anywhere around Stockbridge when I get back! (unless you want to pay for it! :-)

Hope you all are well - I pray daily for many of you I know are reading - and I know many of you are doing the same for me - and I cannot tell you how much that means to me! Thank you!


Monday, June 1, 2009

June Bug!

Wow! I can't believe it's JUNE already! I picked up the COL for breakfast this morning! I am very proud and honored to be serving with him. I will surly miss him when this is over.

Had a typical Sunday - good Chapel NeXt service and it always makes me feel good to write about my week starting with worshiping God.

I got a lot of cards this week. So many I've been thinking about what to do with them. I know my wife would LOVE to read all of them so I'm going to pack them all up and send them to her. I think Hallmark is behind this war somehow. :-) I did receive a very nice card from my "Angel" today from Soldiers Angels. It was a card describing a hero and what a hero is and does. I know that all of us on this team don't think of ourselves as heroes - we think we are all just doing our jobs - and we are. It is very humbling to be thought of as a "hero" to someone. Also - my father-in-law just sent me an article written by Ben Stein back in 2004 - interesting all this "hero" stuff is coming from different sources at the same time. Well - I'm not going to try and figure all that out - just know that I think I have the greatest job in the world and I couldn't be more proud of the people that I am here working with. I personally think the people at Soldiers Angels are heroes for all the support they have delivered in less than month since I wrote and asked them to adopt our group. It's overwhelming!

When I get back, I'm going to join the team! Great organization.

So last week was pretty hot - all the weather reports said it was "unseasonable" - I sure hope they are right and it wasn't an indication of more of the same to come. This week (today) wasn't so bad and the forecast is for cooler temperatures (in the low 80's) for this week. Still windy (much more than a breeze) and I hope this doesn't continue either because it makes for difficult and simply miserable work conditions at times.

I took a few pictures today of a concrete pour we had today. It went very well and very quickly. There was plenty of help and the LN's were eager to help and really worked hard. The guys had the hard part jumping knee deep in the concrete - I didn't see any of the LN's willing to take that step! :-)

I went to our third wing awards/promotion ceremony today. We had our very own SSgt Gooden promoted last month and it was a real pleasure to see him up there and receive his promotion order from Col Kwast. Being promoted to the NCO grade is a huge step in a military career! Anytime you cross the tiers you know and feel a special pride in yourself and a huge sense of accomplishment. I hope and pray that feeling carries him forward to help our unit and the Airmen he will now be responsible to supervise. Amen!

I better get busy posting pictures - I'll post them in BAF7. If you've been following along, you should be able to use any previous link - just change to BAF7.

For newcomers - I'll post the link tomorrow after the pics are uploaded.