Thursday, March 15, 2007

Things To Read and/Or Listen To

One of our fellow Angels in Carrol County interviewed about being a Soldier's Angel. It was a nice little piece in a local paper. Best quote:

“I figure if I make a difference in one person’s life … in one day, then it’s been worth it,” she said.

Just a reminder from yesterday's post, "all politics are local".

Texas Angels and VA Hospitals/None Forgotten gave $500.00 to Sam Rayburn Memorial Hospital in Texas.

A look at the "German Front" of Iraq.

It arrives in the form of a broken man, a body almost completely covered in gauze bandages, darkened in spots, and connected to various machines — he is unconscious. The chaplain at the head of the welcoming committee personally greets the new arrival, just as every new arrival at Landstuhl is greeted personally, whether he is awake, asleep or in a coma. The priest stands next to the stretcher and leans in toward the patient, almost as if he were bowing, and, addressing him by his first name: "Michael", he says, "you are safe now. You're in Germany."

(hat tip: Mudville Gazette)

Also check AWAC: Afghanistan Without A Clue

He received a care package from Soldiers' Angels and had a nice thank you posted. He also has a rather humorous running conversation with his Afghanistan counterpart on all sorts of interesting topics that mostly revolve around cultural differences:

Hamid swung by the hut today to get me for lunch after he had hitched a ride back to Phoenix. I was just finishing up some writing, so I had him come in.

“Remember our conversation about the Snicker’s Bar yesterday?”

“Yes,” he replied.

“Would you believe I wrote about that in my blog yesterday?” I laughed.

“No. Why would you want to write about that?” he exclaimed disbelievingly.

“Wait. I’ll pull it up and read it to you.” After a minute I had the blog up, and started reading the section where Drew and I were trying to figure out what candy bar he wanted. As I read, Hamid stared at be in amazement.

“No, you didn’t write that.”

“Yes I did. I told you I write about our conversations. Let me finish reading.”

As I continued reading, using proper tonal inflections, Hamid started laughing uncontrollably. I actually had to stop reading so he could recover and hear what I was saying.

Once I was finished, and he stopped laughing, he still seemed stunned.

“But who would want to read that? Are people really interested?”

I turned off the computer. “Yes, people really do read this stuff. They love to see what your lives are like, and our interactions with Afghans is interesting, even if we are trying to figure out what kind of candy bar you like. Most blogs are about combat or at least being in a combat unit. But many of us don’t see any combat. Some people enjoy reading about our lives too.”

As well as the on going presentation of "Obscene Amenities" (in reference to an article by William Arkin, military Analyst for NBC and the Washington Post who wrote a scathing article about our soldiers being "mercenaries" living with "obscene amenities" in the war zone and has sparked a rather humorous response from military folks and their supporters).

Obscene Amenity of the day, presented by SSG Carrie Sawyer:

Sir -

I literally stumbled upon yet another obscene amenity. I didn't even realize I had them in my possession until Mr. Arkin so graciously reminded me how lavish I have it here in the 'stan. Please don't hate me because I have amenities. I already feel dirty enough just having them in my hut. Dirty like your LTV after a trip to CMA after an early afternoon snow melt. It's painful, really, I almost can't even look at them.
Strap on the seat belt for the ultimate in amenity status, the shower shoes.

I highly recommend looking at some of the "archives" where you can find other interesting posts (and pictures) about "obscene amenities" in Afghanistan.

And a post about Afghanistan culture and religion (scroll down).

- May no soldier go unloved
Soldiers' Angels