Thursday, September 23, 2010

And so it begins...

Well, here goes nothing....

After a years' long silence on the net, Drifter 05 is back on the net.

Team Drifter from my old blog ( is long since dissolved, some retired and moved on to Camp Livingroom, 2nd CivDiv, some still doing the Lord's work from both active duty and reserve. I decided to keep the "drifter" title for this blog because of its familiarity; also, to my somewhat skewed sense of humor, it also seems appropriate considering my path to this point. Beginning in May 2009, due to a domino effect of personal tragedy and loss, I found myself at a crossroads in my life and decided to throw my helmet into the ring once more for a voluntary deployment to Afghanistan. So here I am, newly arrived off the C-130 just a few days ago, in Kabul for the next six months. I will write another entry later quickly cataloging the events of the last month of training and movement getting me to this point,

This time around, I am an "individual augmentee", meaning I did not come over with a team like I did in 2005, but as an individual to take over from a Marine officer who is rotating back to the US following his six month deployment. I have met nearly all of the Marines, sailors, airmen and soldiers that I will be working with, and they seem to be a good crowd. I am positive this will be a great experience with a group of superb servicemen and women. But to my heart, they will never be any kind of replacement for Team Drifter in 2005 and 2006. I think that that happens once if you are lucky, and is a bond formed only in combat, which, alas, this tour will most likely feature little of. The basic facts are that I am in Kabul, embedded as a Liaison Officer to a "command" featuring a mix of mostly civilians from the State Department and some military. I mentioned to someone the other day that I will probably be able to put my experience on a MTT team in Iraq to use - e.g. immersion in a wholly different culture, serving as part of a small team in a non-standard mission, having to develop "relationships" and other touchy-feely things normally outside the purview of an artillery officer, etc. I wasn't even half kidding.

This is going to be one strange ride.

So this time, I have no other families or friends other than my own to keep informed about what is going on this side of the pond, but I have decided to start up another blog anyway, if for nothing else than to give me a touchstone to my past and a place to ruminate a bit on current events. Based upon the nature of my current billet, I am going to have to be a bit vague on some specifics, and the photos I am able to take - let alone post - will be more limited than they were in Iraq. HOWEVER, I will do my best to keep it interesting. At a minimum, if truly concerned about my status in light of any current events, this will be the place to check on me. I will still be up on Facebook occasionally and will answer up to any e-mails if you have something "offline" you want to ask.

Thanks for your patience and your interest.