Blogs from Kosovo, Europe - page 7

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Europe » Kosovo » East November 18th 2009

Some things just don’t turn out how they were intended. Well I suppose it all turned out well for us soldiers! It really started out quite innocently a few days ago. The sergeant in charge of the mail called and said, “Ma’am, you’ve got like 15 big heavy boxes here you need to pick up!” She was just about as excited as I was. So I ran over (okay, I walked quickly) and checked out my lucky delivery. The boxes were all lined up nice and neat along the counter and I was so excited to see so many at one time. The customs address label read “CANDY”, and as I looked at all the boxes, I realized that each and every one of them was filled with candy. Over 200 pounds of candy! Oh my ... read more
The intense wait for the scale to read out his final weight!
The mail room Sergeant and Dobie with all the boxes of candy!

Europe » Kosovo » East November 16th 2009

Haven't been to that many places yet but everywhere I go I see something so very different. The sunrise was absolutely spectacular as it is many mornings. The sun rises very slowly and reminds me of the wonderful skies over North Dakota, the glow of the lazy orange and there are days it appears to be so close you can reach out and touch the vibrant colors. Now getting out the front gate of a military post is not as easy as one thinks. First you have to have a good reason and get permission from your supervisor or have an assigned mission. Then filling out the paperwork is no easy task either. The name, rank, serial number gig, where ya going, how long you gonna be gone and they even want to know when in ... read more
One of the Kosovo modes of travel
Mosque in the middle of town
This qualifies for the car pool lane!

Europe » Kosovo » East November 14th 2009

Some days were just meant to be great days! I woke up to a bright and shiny morning, the air was crisp with a light layer of frost on everything. We could actually see the mountain, the entire peak and surrounding foothills, which is quite unusual. Normally, it is either covered with a layer of fog, the clouds engulf the top or a hazy glare surrounds the total pike. Today was the day that KFOR 12 took charge of the mission here in Kosovo. Since our arrival we have been in training with our predecessors. It has been a painful and arduous process. In fact, this past two weeks have been the most challenging for me on this entire deployment. Maybe it’s a North Dakota thing, but we are extremely organized as a Task Force and ... read more
We finally got to see the mountain on this beautiful day!
North Dakota'sAdjutant General is welcomed  to Camp Bondsteel by Dobie
Just hanging out with the Kosovo Police

Europe » Kosovo » East November 14th 2009

I can’t believe how busy I have been. After my arrival here it has been just one learning adventure after another. But I tried to meet new soldiers along the way and ask them questions about Camp Bondsteel and what our mission really is here in Kosovo. If you noticed all the pictures with me and my new friends it has been the greatest just to sit and talk with everyone. Davina has been busy doing her own thing. Apparently she has a real job and can’t always break free to take me on tours and just hang out. Hmmm…Hopefully that will change when she gets used to her new responsibilities. This Camp Bondsteel place is like totally huge. The base sits on 955 acres located by a small town called Ferizai which is in the ... read more
The Public Affairs Dudes
The million dollar smile!
Don't they look sweet together?

Europe » Kosovo » East November 8th 2009

I have spoken many times about the emotions of a soldier. Trying to always keep the upper hand, I write about the good, the exciting and the normal. But it is the unexpected that can grab your heart and turn your world inside out and rock you on your heels. My friend left Kosovo today and has returned to his family. No matter how hard a soldier tries to remain strong there is always something that can put a chink in our armor. Sadly, while on deployment we cannot prevent the unexpected. Our lives go on without us back home, right up until the point we receive catastrophic news. It is at that moment in time that we are rendered helpless. No amount of strength can stop the vulnerability a heart feels. We can stop the ... read more

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Europe » Kosovo » East November 7th 2009

I can't believe I am actually here in Kosovo! I've been waiting for this for months and now I am "really" on deployment. It's a long way away from home but I have a hunch this will be an okay trip. After I flew in on that nifty helicopter, Davina gave me a quick rundown of what the facilities are like. She said I will not need for much to survive here. Of course, Davina is lost most of the time so I will have to take my own tour of the camp and then I will be able to describe what everything looks like. I was told that Camp Bondsteel has a plethora of facilities that are utilized by both soldiers and the hundreds of civilian employees who live and work here. She said the ... read more

Europe » Kosovo » East November 1st 2009

Those final moments before we got on the bus in Germany were bitter sweet. Last minute running around, shoving soldiers onto the buses, locking up buildings and briefing soldiers on the safety precautions kept a few of us busy. As I looked to the foothills that surrounded our training post I was swept up by the beautiful foliage and how the autumn leaves were glimmering in the sunlight. But then my eyes refocused and just below the tree lines was this Hogans Hero’s type post. This place had indeed been a concentration camp during WWII, and for the past month it had held us hostage behind the locked gates. I can say that I won’t miss much about the Germany experience. Yes, the training was realistic and quite intense at times, but it is usually the ... read more

Europe » Kosovo » East October 27th 2009

“Dobie, Report to the Commanding General,” I heard yelled over the stir of the crowd. We were all standing in an impromptu formation and all of a sudden all the soldiers eyes went forward. Dobie looked at me, looked at the General and turned back at me to give me a small sheepish smile. I knew he was nervous when I saw his hands lightly shaking as he gave the General a very crisp salute. I knew something big was up yesterday when I had found a small package outside my room and it was labeled with Dobie’s name on it. Dobie grabbed it and asked me to leave the room. When he came out I was astonished at the sight of my little buddy. There he was dressed in a little uniform, complete with boots, ... read more

Europe » Kosovo » East October 27th 2009

Hello everyone! What a big day yesterday was for me. I am a soldier! Yippee! All that fun training, the running with the soldiers, the getting drenched in the rain. It was worth every bruise, bump and tired feeling I’ve had since July. I am so lucky I get to fulfill my dream of being all HOOAH like everybody else I know. Here’s the best part though. When the General swore me into the army and made me a Corporal he gave me a congratulations present as well. I get to ride to Kosovo in a helicopter! Can you believe it? Me, little Dobie, or should I say, Corporal Dobie, gets to fly in a chopper! It should take me a few days and by the time I get there all the soldiers will have arrived ... read more
Dobie and his favorite friends leaving Germany

Europe » Kosovo » East October 20th 2009

Hello to everyone! As we wind down our training here in Germany, it is time to start planning for our final leg of the mission. We are heading to Kosovo soon. For all of you with soldiers in the KFOR 12 rotation here is the mailing address. Name and Rank of your Soldier KFOR 12 (insert Task Force and section here) Camp Bondsteel APO AE 09340 If any of you are planning to send a care package to a U.S. military service member serving in Kosovo, there are flat-rate boxes from the U.S. Postal Service that is 50 percent larger and delivered for $10.95 to an APO/FPO address. The Priority Mail Large Flat-Rate Box (12" x 12" x 5 ½" or 800 cubic inches) are available in Post Offices nationwide. You can pick them up at ... read more
Flat rate boxes




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