After a years' long silence on the net, Drifter 05 is back on the net.
Team Drifter from my old blog (www.petersonet.blogspot.com) 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.