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Bad timing

Camp Hero | Day 9 – A Marine, I highly respect, told me before 30 Days started, a massive operation in the South would limit our project and in some regards overshadow it.

I told her our project wouldn’t be affected because we weren’t trying to tell the operation’s story, but sideline next to it and share the stories behind the headlines. I never took into account the massive amount of resources an operation can take up.

We weren’t able to make it to Bastion, as we hoped we would over the weekend because the massive influx of international media heading into the area. As much as Ken and I would like to pretend we compete with the big boys out there, it’s just not the case. Military resources go to those who utilize them to the greatest

 
Leopards in Afghanistan

Camp Hasum Ghar| DAY 10 – We finally made it out of Kandahar yesterday and took a 20-minute Canadian Chinook flight here to Camp Hasum Ghar. This camp is nestled into the side of a mountain in the middle of the desert. I can tell security here is a lot different than in Kabul. This is a black out camp, meaning no lights are used at night. You can only use red lights to walk around because it’s too risky to use white light. Ken and I are starting to get closer to the bad guys, and you can really feel the difference. Good bye civilian clothes, it’s now time to armor up.

The reality here is, while it may be scary outside of the perimeter, I feel safe inside, especially when I look all around and see the weapons pointing away from me. Plus, there are more Leopard II A6M tanks around here then cars in a mall parking lot. Canadian tanks, like Afghan food, make

 
Taliban Country

Strong Point Khyber | Day 11 – We’re in Taliban country. It took us eleven days, but we can now say we’re less than 150 yards from where the Taliban have heavy influence.I always assumed the closer you got to them, the more “war like” the environment would become. I imagined strong points like this to be under regular, heavy attack.

Without giving away any specifics, the Canadians live in a fort. It has huge walls and barbed wire and enough firepower to keep the Taliban at bay. They live and work with their Afghan National Army brothers and patrol with them daily.

Life is dangerous this close to the Taliban, they sneak around at night to plant IEDs and then the ANA and Canadians go looking for them. During the day, things seem to be relatively quiet. I asked a Canadian

 
Found One!

Strong Point Khyber | Day 12 – I would love to say I found the IED today, but I’ll have to wait until I’m an 80-year-old grandpa. For now I have to tell the truth, the Afghan National Army Soldiers we were with found it.

It wasn’t much of a surprise, the Canadian Soldiers who are partnered with them told us last night the ANA find nine out of ten of them. It’s because they’ve been doing it for more than six years and they know these roads and the Taliban.

We woke up this morning and got our armor on and started walking. It’s great to be outside of the wire to see the sunrise. It’s a type of beauty that can’t be expressed through a photograph. The way the oranges glint off the Soldier’s binoculars as they look for bad guys or the way the heat from your body floating up through

 
Securing governance

Panjwayi District Center | Day 13 – This morning I got up bright and early, jumped in an armored vehicle, and headed down the street with my new Canadian friends to explore the world of Afghan governance.

We entered the district center and it was the biggest one I have ever seen. I’m used to the district centers housing a few buildings behind some barbed wire. This one was huge! It was more of a secure compound with majestic mountains erupting from the earth behind it. The terrain in this country constantly astounds me.

I was hoping to learn about all the good within the government and a foundation for hope for the Afghan people. Unfortunately, I entered a world that needs a lot of

 
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