Blogs from Kosovo, Europe - page 9


Europe » Kosovo » East October 18th 2009

TODAYS BLOG IS RELAYING TRAINING EVENTS ONLY... I figured that today might be a good day to hang out with Dobie. It started out about as rotten as it could be. It was snowing! The wind was whistling unforgivingly and it was actually accumulating on the ground. Geez, just what all the soldiers needed. Going out to the field for the first time here in Germany and now its all slushy and people are a little complainy. Not my little friend though. He was so excited to be in the mix of real training that he barely slept last night. Having watched from the headquarters level I knew that this would be the best hands on training that Dobie would ever be involved in. It was the culmination of months of train up, hundreds of civilian ... read more
My buddies are doing a great job
Crowd in Chaos
Busy village streets

Europe » Kosovo » East October 16th 2009

THIS BLOG REFLECTS TRAINING ACTIVITIES ONLY… It has been absolutely crazy since I arrived here in Germany. I thought maybe that I would just be tagging along with soldiers and having the opportunity to take some pictures, catch up on my sleep and have a day or two outside of the military post so I could get a real taste of the German culture. That was a short lived thought though. I hear, “Dobie, report to the First Sergeant”. I scurred as fast as my little legs would take me. My heart was racing and I was so out of breath by the time I arrived that I had to stand outside his door until I regained my composure. “First Sergeant, reporting as ordered!” My voice was a little shaky, but I stood with confidence. “Dobie, ... read more
Setting up a hasty roadblock
Some soldiers getting their crowd riot control gear ready
Planning on the fly.  Gotta be ready for anything

Europe » Kosovo » East October 11th 2009

It only took me a few days but I did it! I escaped the locked gates here at the training center! Actually I had to participate in a recon of a training area with one of the units. It was quickly planned, so I basically had enough time to pick Dobie up from the airport (yes, he is here in Germany now) and hop in my Mercedes mini van and away we went. We snaked our way along the route designated for heavy military vehicles and it was a great time for me to escape quietly into another world. As we drove for the two hours I just sank into the tranquill surroundings. Small villages with people walking their pets along side the road, cows grazing out in the pastures and seeing children playing is just ... read more
Dobie has found his bunk!  (Notice the red lighting!)
Multi-National cooperation
Soon to be a cafe in the "Training" village

Europe » Kosovo » East October 7th 2009

Well everybody I am finally done with training at Camp Atterbury! This has been an absolute blast and I am so thankful for the opportunity to train with these soldiers going to Kosovo. After Davina left for Germany I only had one last training event. It was probably my favorite because it was all about being sneaky. We would form these 6-8 person teams and practice creeping around buildings, peering around corners and quietly tip toeing around so that we would not be noticed by anyone. I always like it when I get to wear all my cool army gear, especially those oakley sunglasses that nobody can see your eyes. My boots are finally broke in so now I have no blisters, my flak jacket is real weighty and hopefully I will get used to it ... read more
Secure area

Europe » Kosovo » East October 7th 2009

There are moments on a deployment that jump right out at you and say, “Hey dummy, wake up and smell the roses, you really are on a military deployment.” Today is that day for me. I have been really good humored about all the silly army stuff that we sometimes have to do. I have spent a lot of time with soldiers and trying to brighten people’s spirits by just being positive during most of my waking moments. But the reality hits home a little bit at a time. I am no different than most any soldier. I miss my family and friends, I count down the days until I can return to my home, I think the food is icky, and I am real tired of wearing my flip flops in the shower. There are ... read more

Europe » Kosovo » East October 4th 2009

It's amazing how sometimes you just stumble upon things that have impact on your life. Here we were bee-bopping around Munich, enjoying the sites and snacking on the local foods. After the bus tour we really wanted to find the building that we could see people standing at the top of a tower. Didn't know what it would be or where exactly it might be located. So just like most tourists, we walked around, necks straining to look at the rooftops in search of our desired destination. We walked along one of the back allies, nearly deserted except for a young couple quietly talking on the back stairway and a few bikes propped up along side the structure. We were clueless to what we had stumbled upon until we rounded the front of the building and ... read more
St. Peters from the outside
Protected artifacts
Artifacts uncovered

Europe » Kosovo » East October 4th 2009

You probably never guessed it but...My small group never went back to the Oktoberfest sight. We concluded that we were all a little on the "mature" side to be hanging around all the beer drinkers and ride takers. So our wandering on the beautiful city of Munich began. Knowing that Munich is rich in history but with only a few hours to enjoy its grace we decided to combine a self guided tour and a very fun tour bus ride. We hopped on the bus and sat on the top deck of the double decker where we pretty much had an unhindered view of this somewhat metropolis. We plugged the provided headsets in and got to choose from 8 different languages, and we were probably the only ones on the bus that chose english. For a ... read more
Karlston, Entrance to Munich's Old Town
We are on our double decker tour bus
The serenity of the water running through the city

Europe » Kosovo » East October 4th 2009

So finally after our fiasco of driving into Munich the vans unloaded and my simple instructions were, "Be back here in six hours." Sometimes I feel like protecting the soldiers from any little bad thing that could possibly happen. It must be the motherly side of me, so at times it takes everything I have to just let them go and have a good time without me. Plus, I needed to start enjoying my partial day off. The challenges of traveling in a foreign country are always lurking around each corner. How do you make the parking meters work, where did we really park, why don't they speak more english, and did I really bring soldiers to the worlds largest beer drinking festival? Oh my. Oktoberfest in Munich Germany, what a dream, what an opportunity and ... read more
What to do?
Big Crowds!
Locals hanging out in their lederhosen

Europe » Kosovo » East October 4th 2009

Leave it up to me to come up with some hair brained idea about providing the soldiers a chance to see a part of Germany. It all started when I found out that the active duty soldiers here were going to have a four day weekend which in turn meant that we would not be able to do any coordination with anybody. There were only about 100 of us here on the ADVON party so away my imagination went. I enlisted the help of a few logistic soldiers and off we were making a plan. We only had 10 mini-vans assigned to us, so I knew we would need more transportation assets and mostly I knew that I had to make this trip legitimate with the military post and the post commander. So we divided and ... read more
If only I had a map that I could have read
Pretty narrow roads
The entrance to history

Europe » Kosovo » East October 3rd 2009

This was definitely one of those training days that Davina warned me about. She said, “sometimes you have to do things that you don’t want to do, you will be scared during the training and there may even be times that you don’t understand why you are doing what you are doing.” Okay, I will never doubt her words of wisdom again. We started the day by riding a bus out to the training site in one of those buses they call “cattle trucks”. I laughed real hard with my soldier friends today when we were all jammed into this bus where you had to stand up and hold onto the upper railings. We could hardly move we were so close together and then as soon as the bus started to move all the soldiers started ... read more
Direct hit!
Trying to do those combat moves
Special eye wash

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