Monday, January 9, 2012

Fresh Bread

Um, don't mind the mess. It wasn't as dirty as you might think inside.  Well, no reason to  hold the truth back. It was very dirty on the inside. 
 Man, writing a blog can get away from you if you don't stick with it. Well, finally got a charger for my camera so I can start posting a few pictures. Picture on the top is a bakery that's located on the Airbase closer to the Afghan National Army side. These men wake up every morning and bake flat bread all day. Its an interesting process, they take the flattened dough and lay it on a slick wood board and smack it up on the top of a wood burning oven they made themselves.

The pictures to the left shows some of the bread that was smacked up onto the ceiling and left to bake. When it has finished they peel them off the ceiling of pick them up out of the coals after they have falling down from the top of the stove. 

This picture shows them punching holes into the bread after they have flattened it out. You can get it with or without sugar. Also, I have no idea what each piece of bread costs. Seems that when you hand them any denomination of money they just tell you to take some bread. So, either I am getting swindled because I didn't take enough bread or I am raking these nationals over the coals because I can carry a lot of flat bread in one trip. We did go over to the bakery for a purpose. A few soldiers and I went over to take them some scarfs that were made by a church back home, that wanted to see us pass them out to some of the locals. You can kind of see the red scarf in the picture. They were appreciative, but in my opinion I think they were just humoring us wealthy Americans. All is well in the mountains of Afghanistan, I will post some pictures later of my little area I work out of. Miss everyone!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Season of Giving

I think the holiday season brings everyone closer. Its during the holidays that we take a look at what we are most thankful for and enjoy being with our family and friends. Reason for this post is because I was shown a website that soldiers who are deployed could access and ask for things that they may need or want and everyday people back home can then access and send those gifts to soldiers deployed. When I put in my list I never expected to get any of the items. Most of them were new books that I wanted sent to me. I even put on a few video games that I could play that were also new releases I never thought would get sent.

Today, I got several packages from people I have never heard of from all over the country who had taken my requests and sent me some of the items I asked for (Justin: some family from Texas sent me Assassins Creed: Revelations!). This inspired me, people unknown to me would have that kind of generosity to send me these gifts and thanking me for my service and they all came in on the same day.

So, I ask for that same generosity. If you are planning on getting me a gift this season (which I would expect all of you are or at least better be! I am fighting for freedom over here!!!! :-) Go to this website and give a soldiers a nice holiday and a gift they want while they are deployed. Make a small contribution and if my generosity has inspired you and you still want to send me a gift I can understand and will still except gifts.

SCENE: Several Moment have passed....

Okay, so I just talked to Korin to tell her how nice these people were and found out that I should of told her that I sent this list out of things I would of liked because people were looking for gift ideas to send me something. Sorry everyone, I am a guy and I wasn't thinking. I gave Korin a new list in case you still want to send me something.

For all those I love and cherish, please have a wonderful holiday. I miss you all so much.

P.S. Is it just me or did I pick a good time to vacation in Afghanistan. The Browns are getting really hard to watch!

P.S.S. It just got really really cold....its like I am trapped on Hoth! Anyone? Anyone? Trapped on the planet Hoth? Ahhh you know what I am saying...its cold.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Some days aren't always the same

Sorry for the time gap in posts. Sometimes I am either to busy or just way to tired. I did have an experience worth posting to my loved ones.

I was helping take down a tent and getting rid of some expired medical supplies a couple of days ago. Just as we had finished rolling up the tent one of the medics came out of the ER and asked us if we would help bring a gun shot victim into the hospital, the man would be landing by helicopter in about five mins.

We suited up and went out with the stretcher to meet the bird. The helicopter came in and we moved in to bring the afghan national off. He had been shot in the chest by special forces a few towns away, for reasons I would find out later, but cannot discuss on here. The man was soaked in blood as we took him off the bird and moved him away from the helipad. As we stopped to check him for weapons or explosive devices I saw him reach out and grab the hand of one of the soldiers helping to bring him in. I am sure it was just out of pure fear of death that he needed the human contact. Over the chopper taking off again I could hear him mumbling to himself over and over again. We go into the hospital and brought him straight to the medical staff that had already prepared for his arrival. As I moved away, I took the blood stained blanket that had been covering him and disposed of it. As I watched the soldier medics work furiously around the patient like a well rehearsed dance I had just noticed the blood that was covering my hands and wrists.

Sometimes I question the reasons I stayed in the military. I think all soldiers do from time to time. The politics and backstabbing can truly crush the positive things you get out of serving. Today was not one of those days. What a truly moving experience to bring a human being near death to a life saving facility. To stand in awe of those trained to heal and provide care for the sick and dying. The adrenaline of that moment will stay with me. More opportunities will come I am sure, but like they always say, you always remember your first. For men and women serving its never been about the big picture. It is always about your small impact in that specific place and in that specific time in which you were called to serve that will matter the most.

It was a very good day.

(sidenote: I did wash my hands and arms about four times after I took the gloves off. I have no idea where that man has been!)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My room?

 Okay I kind of figured out my camera issue. In the first installment of "Holy crap, I am in Afghanistan!" The pictures you are viewing are of my room. It is actually so small that I had to take  the picture from an aerial view, it is hard to tell if the pictures came out or not. These were the best two I could get. So, my bed is the left in this first picture. When it gets really windy the tent smack's me in the face as I sleep. All in all a good place to rest. (refer to last post about wind) If you are slow...I am constantly getting smacked in the face.                    

My desk is on the left. Korin should take note of the fan which I turn on every night regardless of the temperature. Who doesn't like cool air hitting their face when they sleep.

Important thing to remember is that I have some privacy. I have a make shift sliding door and a place to call home.

Man, my home sucks.............


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chitty Bang Bang Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Okay so Sunday it was 70 degrees and sunny with some clouds, but lots of sunshine. I don't have to say there was wind, because there is always wind. When you ask me how is the weather is just say in your brain after I say its hot/cold/nice/rainy etc. and windy. 

Today it dropped down to 30 degrees and like most of the Afghanistan workers that clean the port o johns caught me completely off guard. I even said this morning that I loved the weather because it was a really nice cool day (with wind). Then it drops like a brick and I can't pull my cold weather gear out of my duffel bag fast enough. 

Interesting sidenote: I had a corn dog for dinner today and what I think may have been meatloaf. Outcome: both were good. Search of a good cheeseburger: Unsuccessful. 

SSG Hoskinson, Charles
APO AE 09382

Another off topic, if you want to send me something. Please send me anything, nothing is off limits, except for porn/drugs/guns. Don't send me PDG and everything is good. What to send me? Anything! It really doesn't matter. Getting mail is like the only surprise I get while I am here and unless you are putting your child's poo or your animals poo and sending me that (I am watching you Justin) I do not care. I dont' like candy that much but I have a weak spot for M&M's (peanut, plain, dark chocolate). Snacks, drink mixes, books, magazines, fresh made cookies (I love chocolate chip made from scratch) or even a note in a card. It doesn't matter, everyone likes getting mail.

Since I covered that and none of these words have anything to do with the title, I just had a smile at it and thought of Ace Ventura jumping around in the jeep singing to that fat guy. Someone gets some extra freedom this weekend if they can tell me the fat guys name in the movie!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Turkey Crisis 2011

This country must be completely over run by turkeys. In fact, maybe the Taliban are really just mean turkeys dressed on towels that have some how found a way to use complex machinery and discovered reasoning skills. I go to the chow hall every evening at the same time (remember routine). Each time I wash my hands stand in line hoping that it's going to be something different. Each day like a kid who finds out there is no Santa I find some kind of turkey product on the line. I mean seriouslly, how is it possible to have a turkey product every day.

Two days ago  for example: For breakfast they had turkey links and turkey bacon. For lunch they had turkey wings and some kind of fried chicken ball with ranch in them (Chad, they aren't that good). Dinner they had breaded turkey cutlets and stuffed peppers. I know what you are thinking. "Hey the stuffed peppers couldn't of had turkey in them, right?" Well you would be wrong and that kind of thinking can get you hurt out here. Well, hurt like, tripping or rolling an ankle kind of hurt, but like a bad roll though. You have to keep ice on it kind of roll, serious stuff out here. 

Routine Routine Routine

I find that in all military matters, no matter how unbelievably awful a situation can be. Its important to always find a routine and stick with it. Even on the simplest days you will find the routine can help make the day go by faster. I am starting to find that routine as the days go by.

With the first baby on the way I find it very sad to miss so much of the pregnancy. To be there for my wife for the small things can make things harder. Considering the technological advances of our society I couldn't imagine being deployed during another time when computers and Facebook weren't wonderful ways of communicating and regular mail was considered the norm.

So, I check on her everyday when I can and we do our best to email when we have time because being that this will be the longest we have ever been apart. If we don't stick to the routine we will only make this so much harder. Believe me it is so much harder.