Sunday, October 26, 2008


Later this week I'll probably go to FOBs Mehtar Lam and Kalagush. Mehtar Lam is supposedly the site of the tomb of Lamech, the father of Noah. I probably won't be doing much sightseeing though. Kalagush is up more in the mountains and is supposed to be really pretty, so I'm looking forward to it.

I saw some video from msnbc the other day that I thought was interesting. It was a series on the Korengal Valley , which is about 30 miles from here. I work at the Headquarters for the unit that is there and it is probably the most violent place in Afghanistan. To see the video, go to and then click on the "U.S. news" category and then "Military". It's the "On patrol in the Valley of Death" and "Seeing the enemy in Afghanistan". Fortunately, despite being physically close to the Korengal, the security situation here is a world away, so don't be scared for me.


I wanted to show off my flowers that Kelly got me for my birthday. They are my favorite kind, lily, and favorite color, purple. He had them delivered to Columbia Elementary where I was acting as the kitchen manager for a week.

Things are going well. Kelly is a quarter of the way finished! We got to see each other on webcam twice now, which was very awesome! The guys in the video don't have many opprotunites to do that. We are blessed that Kelly is out of danger.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Life in Jalalabad Afghanistan and on the Homefront

I am posting for Kelly because he is having trouble getting on this website. This first picture is from his brother Chris. Most of the Wood family cars and Mom Hakes have a blue star flag on it, representing a family member serving in war. We have one on our car. If any Hakes sibling wants one, I know where to get them.

Below are some pictures Kelly sent from Jalalabad. The captions are also from Kelly. We get to email regularly and talk on the phone about every other day, which is better then we previously thought. He is in a public room everytime we talk, and he is using shared phones. The signal on the phone is great, however. He can get pretty much anything he needs, except for family. It is good to know he is taken care of.

This is the best picture I could take of my room. It's pretty much just my bed and a few feet of empty space to the side. Someone before me built those wooden shelves, so that's nice. The room also has an air conditioner, so that's very nice.

This is a bad picture, but I was trying to be discrete. This is the cafeteria aka D-FAC aka chow hall. Here it's all decorated for the air force's birthday. Generally they have a main line with turkey or pork chops or whatever, a grill with hamburgers and hot dogs, a taco or potato bar, salad bar, a bunch of fruit. Also, there are fridges with cans of soda and gatorade and lunch and dinner have a dude who scoops baskin robbins ice cream. It's run by KBR (aka Halliburton) and generally very good with good quality food. It's a thousand times better than the Academy cafeteria and much better than Ft Dix. I'm sure the Army is paying them a fortune, but it's free to us.

This is the place where I sleep. This one is on the end, so you can't see that there are dozens of these lined up real close together. There are 8 of us in here, but it's divided in half, so my part has me and 3 civilian contractors. I'm kinda lucky because my half has 6' high plywood walls in them giving us our own kind of private room. In most of the huts, people have to hang blankets from the ceiling to form makeshift walls. And like most of the base, there is a random pile of rubble.