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. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

2,000ft Above Sea Level

No pictures this time. I am waiting on my camera charger cord to make it's way over. Right now, it should be some where floating in the Atlantic Ocean. I have made it safely to my place of deployment. It's funny when I left I never thought it would take two weeks to finally get here. After setting up our area we have claimed the battle ground for our Unit. A lot of work to do changing things around to suit our needs, but considering the environment, it is not a bad set up. I really expected much worse. I will have pictures of the area to post when I get my camera charged back up. I miss everyone dearly. I have Internet access to feel free to email me or send me a facebook message. I will be sure to respond.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


 Korin came out for my four day pass that we were given before we left for Afghanistan. We may never get another chance to be in Seattle so we decided to take full advantage. The picture on the left is from Pike's Place Market. It had amazing vendors and one of the largest markets I have ever been to. Even the smell of large fresh fish that seemed to line the streets didn't diminish the busy market.
The picture on the right was taken from a memorial in Seattle that was honoring those men and women in the state of Washington that had given their lives in past American wars. Along with the names, they had engraved letters from soldiers that they had sent to their loves ones. Korin found this one from a soldier to his sweetheart. I think it fits.

 Surprise, surprise it's not sunny in Seattle. It basically looks like a gloomy mess most days, but Korin did take cool pictures of the needle. We took the picture right then because, at the time, we weren't sure if we would find it again. We kept getting turned around and a little lost. Google maps kept telling us that landmarks were closer than they were. A mile away was fine, till we walked the mile and Google updated and it was actually three miles away.
This picture was taken at the top of the Space Needle. We decided to have dinner there because we figured we may not have another chance to make it this far West. The rotating room and the night view of Seattle was amazing. The food on the other hand was dreadful. Anyone who makes a stop in this city, stay away from the restaurant. Pay a few dollars for the ride up, and there is a small cafe at the observation deck.

Sunday, September 25, 2011 rains here...a lot.

 Well, I made it to the beautiful state of Washington and, yes, it does rain here all the time. Of course, half the time you don't even realize it is raining and when you do it doesn't last more than a few minutes. The torrential down pours from back home make this rain look like a misting. The picture left is my home for the next couple of weeks. Just because the mattress can lift up and allow for more space to put your belongings doesn't make it a great idea. I spent a few days constantly chasing my items around the floor because I lifted the mattress and they slid off.        
Think of an old prison movie where the inmates took care of themselves. That's kind of what our barracks look like. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Beginning

So, Team Hoskinson or at least one member has decided to take a trip to Afghanistan. I have decided to try and record my days through words and photos to better give my loved ones a better idea of what I will be doing in the coming months. The picture is the love of my life. I had a few limited pictures so I just grabbed one for the moment since this is my first entry. I will updating this blog with my adventures in the lovely state of Washington and also during my trials through the less civilized country of Afghanistan. Wish me luck!