Holidays in Afghanistan


Filed Under Military on Dec 2 

Another insightful note from my cousin behind the lines. Paragraph two will break your heart.

I just watched the departure of a part of our aircraft and pilots, as they work their way west and home to their loved ones, and it was not without a bit of sadness to see them leave. I know, they will probably be home for the Holidays, be able to see their wives, children, friends and other family, but they were each fantastic Attack pilots, and we were honored to fly here in combat with each of them. They will be missed, as they did great work both in the air and on the ground, and the squadron will not be the same without them here. But I am happy that they will get to spend time with loved ones, enjoy the holidays, and in their moments of silence as they cannot sleep at night, secretly wish they were back here with us.

For those family members who still have quite a few months before you see your Tiger Sharks, let me share an occurrence that happened recently here, and is not for the faint of heart. Some coalition forces were patrolling an area here recently, and gave candy to some local children. After the coalition forces were gone, Taliban thugs swept through the town and found the candy wrappers, and proceeded to cut out the tongue of all of the fathers whose children had taken candy, and scalp the mothers. All for taking candy from soldiers. Evil like that has no place here on Earth, even 9,000 miles away from home where we could all ignore it and go about our merry way, focusing on our own lives. We cannot right every wrong, and save everyone from cruelty and tyranny, but here we have an opportunity to ensure that thugs like that have few days left on this earth. I miss my family terribly, and like a few others this will not be my first time away at Christmas, but if I can make even a small difference to allow Afghanis to determine their own future without the fear of the kind of awful brutality they have been used to, then there is no place I would rather be right now.

For those of us who are left here, we will continue to act according to Shark Standard, and make a difference here in Afghanistan. We appreciate the support, the emails, phone calls, cookies, and even the ‘clothing’ for Betty, as it all helps to make the time go faster, and reminds us of what we hold dear. I am continually amazed at how well the entire squadron is doing, the judgment, composure, worth ethic, and desire to make a difference each and every groundhog day. The routine can wear on you, but that has not lessened everyone’s commitment to making the best of things and do it right. There is no other squadron in theater that is more highly requested, and the guys never let the customers down.

Until next time, I hope you have a wonderful prep for the Holidays. Our “festive stick” is up and decorated, our fire pit is blazing, and we are all slowing getting sick off of chocolate. It is awesome.


  • Michael W

    Paragraph 2 is indeed a heartbreaker, exacerbated by the certainty that such evil will exist in spite of our (not best) efforts in Afghanistan. More tongues cut out; more scalps taken. Long after our troops are home and our nation is wallowing in self-congratulatory hyperbole, the innocent there will suffer and die. As sure as night follows day, that.

    One does not achieve victory in war by ‘winning the hearts and minds.’ We win war by killing those hearts and minds. Sad, but true. It is the way of war. We do not win war by respecting holy buildings – we bulldoze them. We shoot on religious holidays. We inform the innocent that their village will cease to exist in one hour, then we obliterate it.

    We cause our enemy to say, “Whoa. Let’s not upset them anymore.”

    Surgeons can’t remove half a tumor and expect it not to regenerate. But that is exactly what we are doing in Afghanistan. When we leave, the tumor will return. Bet on it.

    God bless our soldiers there – my son, his 3rd tour – but the Washington idiots have guaranteed that victory in Afghanistan is impossible.

    So, get used to the evil. We don’t have the resolve to kill it.

  • MadRick1975

    That comment actually made me tear up. Thank you for sharing that. God bless the troops,

  • David Kaiser, Editor

    The timing of this post is impeccable.

    One of my best friends arrived home last night after nearly eight months in Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. He was picked up at the airport by his wife and their 14 month old son, who he had not seen since Liam was 3 months old.

    As their car came into the town we live in, a half dozen fire trucks and police cars escorted him, sirens blaring, down the main drag and the up to their home, where basically the entire neighborhood had turned out on a dark and chilly night to welcome my friend home.

    It was great to hug my friend and welcome him home, but we still have to remember those who are still over there.