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The soul of Afghanistan

Kabul | Day 4 – I’m all about eyeballs. There’s something truly beautiful about them. If you give me a good eyeball, I’ll stare at it for hours like it’s a sneak peek at the next big movie.

The beauty doesn’t stop on the surface, where the rich blues, browns and greens reside. The beauty continues below the surface and if you let yourself go, you will be carried on a journey into their owner’s soul.

I was taken on such a journey by two Afghan college students today. Their words were interesting and informative but they shared something deeper with me, and I felt honored.

Manizha, 21, was a little girl when


Kandahar | Day 5 –The best thing about flying somewhere is sitting in the terminal.

I’m not a very shy person and I have the ability to walk up to complete strangers and start talking to them. While I do enjoy being a hermit, when I’m in a terminal, all I see are stories surrounding me and all I have to do is find them.

Today, I had such an opportunity when Ken and I were sitting in the terminal at the Kabul International Airport. We were catching a flight to Kandahar. The terminal at Kabul is actually very nice, they even have a little coffee shop were I can load myself up on the most powerfull energy drink.

Off I went, who could I talk to this time? There were all types of people sitting around


Kandahar | Day 6 – Fobbit or poge, either way is a term for those who never leave the wire. There are a great many here in Kandahar.

It’s actually quite painful for me to write those terms, because I know how many are grimacing right now reading them. The fact of the matter is it’s a part of military life and there are thousands of service members across this country who never get to experience half of what Ken and I have experienced in the last six days.

But the key to military operations is support. Although they never get to leave the wire, their work is critical. Without them, there is no operation. Examples are many, including me. I’ve been on five deployments, but this deployment is the first time I’ve ever left the wire. Other examples could be

People, not politics

Kandahar | Day 7 – When I face a challenge, I have no choice but to stand up, face it, acknowledge it and talk about it.

There’s no denying the fact there is a lot of politics surrounding Afghanistan. At the ground level, we are not a political entity; we are simply military service members from a bunch of different countries. With that said, it would be extremely easy to take our views and opinions and then attribute them, inappropriately, to the political will of an entire country.

I hope, over the course of these 30 Days, people across the world will understand that I and the people I’m talking to, have no desire to influence political opinions. I simply want to share the lives and perspective of the everyday service member.

I believe their views and opinions matter and

Numbers never again

Kandahar | Day 8 – Right now, I’m listening to my Top 100 Billboard Hits of 2008 playlist while typing and occasionally looking around at all of the smiling faces surrounding me. People are relaxed and enjoying some downtime.

But I can’t, it just doesn’t seem fair.

I can’t get the experience of meeting Lance Corporal Edward Swingle, a U.S. Marine wounded in action, out of my head. I don’t want to. It’s a rather strange conundrum of emotions I’m feeling right now because I really love music, so while my foot wants to tap a bit, I feel really ashamed at the same time thinking of this young man and his family and how worried they all must be for him.

I am so honored for having met him. He’s

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