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Published: August 10th 2009
Staging all the vehicles for departure
-10 days till Afghan national elections.
The Georgia National Guard (48th)deployed record numbers of soldiers to Afghanistan-most of them took over ARSIC East, the eastern portion of Afghanistan encompassing the regions occupied by Illinois national guardsman. Unfortunately, our rip-out date was extended a few weeks so we could provide support out west while waiting for the 82nd to come in and take over. After the Georgia guys arrived in Camp Clark, I flew to Gardez and then to Kabul, where I settled at Camp Blackhorse for 7 weeks training and mentoring a new crop of Afghan soldiers, the 207th RCC (Route Clearance Company). From there we formed a 200+ vehicle convoy and drove from Camp Blackhorse by Kabul, to Camp Stone in Herat province next to the Iranian border, a journey along the ring route that circles much of Afghanistan. Our path covered much of the southern portion of the country, and we had to stop at a number of camps along the way, refueling and getting resupplied.
We were originally in our vehicles for 30 hours. A couple of ANA fell asleep while driving, resulting in a vehicle rollover and I had to medivac one ANA soldier. The temperatures
were consistently in the 110 degree range, and I constantly reminded myself that before arriving in this country, all anyone talked about was the potential frigid weather we would encounter. We left Kabul on July 28 and arrived in Herat on August 9th. These pictures cover the trip to Kandahar-I will upload the rest of the pictures covering Kandahar to Herat in a couple of days.
While I was at Camp Blackhorse, on July 7th, SPC Chris Talbert was killed when his vehicle struck a bomb in Herat where I am headed. Chris was a fellow medic out of my unit in Marion, Illinois. I met his parents at Fort Bragg in November during a break in our deployment training-they were the only ones that I know of to make the drive from Illinois to North Carolina. I cannot imagine what they are going through right now.
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