Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The War in Afghanistan gets personal

My older brother is a Master Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. He is a lifer who has been in the USAF since 1991. During those years, he has been sent to many foreign locales such as Great Britain, Egypt, the Azores, Bahrain, Iraq, and for the last few months, Afghanistan.

I never really worried about his safety in all the different places he has been stationed - even his stint in Iraq - but I must admit that I hesitated a bit when he told me he was being sent to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.

My fears turned out to be well founded. This morning, I woke up to read this email from my brother:

Had a bit of a rough night/morning over here. If you want to see the article, it’s on the internet then go to world then Afghanistan…
I found the link on the Fox News website, and the opening paragraphs will sum it up for you:
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Insurgents launched a brazen pre-dawn assault Wednesday against the giant U.S.-run Bagram Air Field, killing an American contractor and wounding nine troops in the second Taliban strike at NATO forces in and around the capital in as many days.

Small groups of suicide bombers — some wearing uniforms that appeared to match those of U.S. or NATO forces — tried to storm the base's defenses, while others fired rockets, grenades and guns over the walls into the base, said Maj. Virginia McCabe, a spokeswoman for U.S. forces at Bagram.

No insurgents made it inside the base, but blasts and gunbattles raged for eight hours as U.S. soldiers hunted the attackers down in the surrounding fields north of Kabul, she said....
My brother was thankfully not one of the casualties, but having his air base attacked by suicide bombers in an eight-hour firefight is worrisome enough. This is not the first time that something like this has happened at Bagram. That is the same location where suicide bombers killed over a dozen people while then-Vice President Cheney was visiting there.

I am looking forward to later this summer when my brother can return home to his wife and two children.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson


Tracie said...

Thank your brother for us. We'll keep him and his family in our prayers. I'm very glad to hear that he was unharmed.

Polski3 said...

Echo Tracie, I am thankful for those brave men and women who have put themselves in harms way to protect and defend us.

A guy I taught with years ago had a high draft number. So, upon completion of HS., he enlisted in the USAF. His job was putting ordinance on fighter-bombers and he was sent to DaNang AFB. He was there during Tet. He said they were not directly attacked by the VC or NVA, but they were nearby with snipers and mortar crews to harass the Americans. He said it was lots of fun loading bombs and napham on F111's while someone was taking pot shots at him.

Prayers that your brother returns home safely and can put his experiences behind him.

Darren said...

I don't believe you're telling the truth. I know, because I was promised that "smart diplomacy" would make everyone love us.