Monday, May 28, 2007


Have you ever seen those clips of people in starving countries just sitting around as flies crawl around their faces and they don't seem to care? I don't know what it is, but recently the fly population in Afghanistan seems to have quadrupled. Everywhere you go there are flies circling around you waiting to land on you and make you flinch. I am trying to work up the nerve to let them crawl on me without swatting them away just to see if I can do it. It may be a while. For now, not only am I armed with my M9 pistol and M4 rifle, but I have my fly swatter with me. I bought a handy little holster for it at the bazaar. Every time I think of flies, I get the image of the movie "The Fly" not the newer one, but the classic one with the scene of when the half-man, half-fly is caught in the spider's web screaming, "Help me!"

(Editor's Note: For those of you not like the Wade's (who have seen every movie ever produced, and who have certain movies quotes committed to memory to insert in every day conversations)... here is what Pat is talking about: The Fly (1958). A Canadian scientist has a horrific accident when he tries to use his newly invented teleportation device. As he attempts to transport himself, a fly gets inside the machine and the two are hopelessly scrambled together. The scientist emerges as a half-man, half-fly hybrid— a human with a fly's head and insect claw. Pathetically he tries to reverse the process and return himself to normal, but fails and, his mind overtaken by that of the fly, ultimately commits suicide. In the famous twist ending, the scientist's brother (Vincent Price) hears a tiny voice coming from a nearby spider's web; he makes the dreadful discovery of a tiny creature with the scientist's emaciated head and the body of a fly, shrieking, "Help me! Help me!" as it is about to be devoured by a spider. However, a policeman then casts a stone into the web and kills both the human head and the spider, ending the suffering the head would have ensued had it been eaten.)

We have been making good progress at work getting a good handle on resources and priorities. There are still the fire fights, but we are handling all the business. I am thankful I have such a great team of people to work with; they are really doing great things. We had a visit this week from the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Logistics and Material Readiness, the honorable Jackson Bell. That is quite a title. We did our usual tour of the facility and fortunately LCDR Steve Parks, the Public Affairs Officer from Kandahar, was in town to take some pictures and will write up a story about our facilities.

I attended some regular meetings and spent some time with our ANA counterparts at the Logistics Command which is the ANA headquarters for logistics. It is truly a learning experience to work with the Afghan military and gain a deeper understanding of their culture. This week we also had a big meeting about reorganization. Our US military organization is changing to better support the combined security forces made up of both the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police.

Did you know that the Afghanistan is the number one exporter of poppy seeds? This is an area of concern for the US as Poppies are used in the production of heroin and the Taliban gains part of its funding from this source. For those who want to learn more about Afghanistan and poppies, here is link to an article.

Here is an interesting story about one of the gate guards at Camp Phoenix. His name is Rambo, so named by the American soldiers, and he is an Afghan who has worked at the gate for years.
A couple months ago while we were still at Fort Riley, we heard the story of how Rambo stopped a car bomb from getting into Camp Phoenix. Here is a link to a story about this unique individual.

Back on the homefront, my nieces Kathleen and Elizabeth are visiting for the summer from Boston.
(Editor's Note - This is Grandma Dill's Ford Contour with MA license plates in our driveway in San Diego. This is the car that our nieces, 19 & 20, drove across the country. Thomas cannot understand how they made it in such a small car without XM radio and, heaven forbid, without a DVD player.)
They made the long drive across country and hope to have summer jobs soon and of course enjoy the sunshine and the beach. Rebecca organized a big crew of people (19 total I think) to go to the movie Pirates of the Caribbean III. They make an event of it going to Disney's El Capitan Theater in Hollywood with VIP tickets to watch the movie and I am sure they will be wearing their pirate t-shirts. I will have to catch the movie sometime while I am out here.

Well that is my world for this week, I hope you are all well.

Peace to you all,


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