Sunday, July 25, 2010

Soldier wounded while reportedly killing Afghan trainer who opened fire on base

UPDATE: Contractors, Afghan recruits in deadly training dispute. An article from a report that has been staying with our unit.

Camp Spann, where I live, is located inside of Camp Shaheen. A week ago there was some violence that occurred on Camp Shaheen, which is the Afghan Army Base that I and the rest of my team do our mentoring on. The facts as I know them, are also the same ones that have been released. A week ago now a group of Civilian Contractors, which I had never met, and some US Soldiers were doing some training with an Afghan Army Battalion of new recruits. Their mission was to go to the rifle range, and do some marksman training with the new recruits. Something event which is under investigation, in the end though one of the Afghans shot two civilian contractors, and injured one US Soldier before being killed.
I have never been scared or intimidated working with my Afghans. There have been several times in which I have left their area a frustrated for not being able to understand something to which would seem very simple to me. Most days though are kind of average, no forward or backward progress; but I'm still able to walk away feeling pretty good. This past Saturday though was the most uplifted I've felt since I have been walking down there each day. Mohammed Hussein, the best NCO I have in the S1 section, asked that I no longer come down to his office after hours. I have gone to his office some evenings to help him out, because of what happened earlier in the week he said that it is difficult to trust everyone on the base and to be safe I should only come during daylight.
Perhaps what was most concerning about the death of the Americans as it affected me and my fellow teammates, was concern or confusion by our friends and family members. Late that evening the first press release hit Fox news, a short two paragraph story inaccurately stating that two NATO soldiers had been killed by an ANA soldier at a base in northern Afghanistan. Shortly after that story hit, with no mention of names of those involved or the actual name of the base, people started getting worried emails from their families.
For those who have never been in the military, or do not have much knowledge I thought I would share some advice when it comes to worrying about your loved one. While it is okay to be nervous and worry about your loved one, watching the news and being concerned about everything that you read will only make you miserable. The best way think about any news about the death or injury of any soldier in battle, is that unless you have a received a visit from a couple men in uniform at your door odds are your loved one is fine. In a high percentage of times by the time that an article hits the paper or television, the family has already been notified about their soldier's death or injury. The military goes to great effort to ensure that families are notified before press releases go out, to ensure that they are not surprised and find out their loved one has been injured via the evening news. I have told my family several times that unless my parents receive a visit from a couple soldiers in uniform to their front door, always assume that I am fine. I personally feel that, even though I am in a war zone, my odds of getting killed or not much worse than living in the city. People get killed or injured everyday in traffic or other freak incidents. In the military we go to great lengths to try and eliminate or reduce residual hazards, such that the main danger we might face will be the enemy.

1 comment:

MSGWife said...

Hi I just found your blog. And I thought I'd let you know what happened to me when my husband was killed in Iraq 4 years ago in Sept. My son called me at work and told me to come home, so I did. Once home I had 3 Army officers walking me up to the front door. I officially was notified at 12 noon on Sept 20th. About 2 1/2 hours later I had a news crew from a major network at my door. I politly asked them to leave as I had no statement at that time.
Why did I tell you this? Well, the belief of 24 hours after the family has been notified doesn't necessarily happen. I'm not totally sure how the news found out about Robb, but all I know is that they were at my door really quick.

Thank you for serving and willing to go to Afghanistan and work with their Army (my husband did the same thing)