TSO Spring Break Destination: Afghanistan

| February 28, 2012 | 34 Comments

This blog has given me a lot of things, ranging from a wife to a full time job that beats any other job except Infantry Squad leader. And so a few weeks ago when I commented to one of our readers on something Patriots related, the inevitable outcome was a trip to Afghanistan. Now, how my love of Tom Brady morphed into a trip to a warzone is perhaps unclear, just trust me.

Either way, sometime this spring, I’ll be headed “over there” for a few weeks, if I ever get this Visa application horseshit filled out correctly. I am as excited to go as my wife is unhappy about it, which is to say a lot. I don’t know how much liberty I have in naming my benefactor, but since he mentioned it this morning, my thanks to HeadHunter Six for the opportunity. I will not be leaving before April 4 (more on that later) and will be returning before June, so there is your window.

Either way, what I am hoping is that someone out there in the Moronosphere that is our readership is either a PAO in theater, or knows a PAO in theater that wants to babysit and get some good press out of it. I will be writing an article for The American Legion Magazine (circ ~3 million) on my trip, and am completely leaving the topic open to see what I find. I would like to go back to Wardak and Ghazni to do a sort of “Six Years Later” thing on the area I served in. So, if any of you guys know a PAO, can you let me know? Perferably some sort of door-kicker unit, and a mech one at that, because my humping my fat ass up mountainside days are coming to an end.

For any prospective PAO’s, I guarantee you’ll never get a more sympathetic reporter. I have a CIB, I know how to brag about a good poop, and I don’t ever remember being offended by anything in my life. I also might wet myself (I am over 40) but you won’t have to drag my ass anywhere. You can just leave me in place. Maybe put some cones around me.

So anyway, there is your warning order. TSO is headed back to the stan, and taking all of you with me, in the horrific-writing style you have all come to know and detest.

Category: Politics

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  1. LastAllUCanB says:

    TSO, I’m a PA Sgt, who works with a bunch of PA folks, many who have recently returned and have some names of folks. Let me do some digging for you.

  2. 1SG DB says:

    CV-

    If you get to KAF, I’ll be here till late May/June. I went to Ghazni back around Thanksgiving. It’s huge now. They busted a hole in the back wall and expanded where the range was and then put another camp on the other side of the LZ, and…there’s a restaurant on the FOB!

    Operationally, huge changes since our time here. The MATV’s and MRAP’s are ginormous compared to our UAH’s. You’ll see when you get here, but things haven’t necessarily changed for the better in that regard.

    Hit me up on AKO and I’ll arrange the hook ups (and I’ll talk to the RC(S) PAO tomorrow and try to get you down this way.

    DB

  3. TSO says:

    DB- I am coming through KAF, didn’t know you were still there. Emailing you now.

  4. Susan says:

    TSO – you may want to go with what I like to call the “Greg Kelly” advantage. I have heard from some back-channel guys that the reason Kelly got the primo enbed in Iraq was because they were reasonably sure that (a) he had already done the full chem/bio training, not just the short one they gave to the embeds; (b) understood the chain of command and would behave accordingly; (c) he was a Marine, and as we all know even Marine pilots are riflemen first; (d) he understood that “non-combatant status” didn’t matter when the shit hit the fan; and (e) because of the above if things went to hell he would not only not be a liability, but he could cover his cameraman and possibly be another trooper. Also they thought based on his backgroud he would understand OpSec better and would not be offended by the everyday troop behaviour.

    Of course as a reserve officer, Kelly really wasn’t a non-combatant. Depending on your recall status, you might not be either. I doubt the Talibs care about that though.

  5. Lucky says:

    TSO: Are you still on AKO? If so, I have a contact with the Indiana Guard that will be there soon, and can shoot you the details there.

  6. TSO says:

    Alas, no, I am not, AKO got shut down when I got out. Is he here in Indy now and deploying later? The IN NG HQ is across the street from me.

  7. Aroberts says:

    I posted this to our NCO forum since we have some PAO types over there. It was mentioned to look for the 11th PAD or the 7th MPAD since they are in Bagram right now and linked in with 1CAV. If I get any more info Ill make sure to send it your way.

  8. Lucky says:

    Ok very cool, he is with the 76th IBCT INANG

  9. Lucky says:

    He is enroute to Camp Atterbury at present TSO, I am sure that if you ask for him at the HQ you can link up. I will find out his location and digits and PM them to you via email.

  10. Joe says:

    I can give you the PAO information if you were looking to head into Kunduz to get a look at how the SFAT mission is being done. It is our brigade’s primary mission (we hold RC-N) and our BN is in Kunduz, running SFAT missions in Imam Sahib, Shir Khan, Kunduz City, Khanabad City and some areas down in Baghlan Province. Let me know here with a way to get a hold of you and I can give you our PAO’s contact info.

  11. TSO says:

    Joe- I will probably be emailing you later this week. I have a line on one other thing that someone just sent me, but if that falls through, you guys’ mission is exactly the kind of thing I want to cover.

  12. Jacobite says:

    I have to admit to some considerable jealousy here. I’ve wanted to go back to a few places in Iraq for years.

    Very cool opportunity! :)

  13. Jonn Lilyea says:

    DADT gets repealed and suddenly TSO gets an embed? Coincidence? I wonder.

  14. TSO says:

    I’m planning on wearing nothing but a reflective belt. And I will make it look just fabulous!

  15. Nichevo says:

    TSO,
    Jonn has my email, I can try to link you up with the PAO in the RC-Capital Area.

  16. Joe says:

    No PT belts on our FOBs or COPs. We enjoy not taking IDF everyday.

  17. Jonn #15: See, I (sorta) wanted to suggest that, but YOU pissed on the parade first.

    TSO finished the job.

    I was gonna suggest that he didn’t take along any of his inflatable actions figures, or superhero costumes.

  18. TSO says:

    yeah, I don’t actually own a PT belt. I am however already growing out my beard (although the red hair might ID me as non-Afghan) and I may buy the shirt that Jamie the USO girl posted the other day that simply reads “I Pooped Today!”

  19. Nichevo says:

    Inflatable “action figures”? We have a couple floating around.

    Action Hero Costumes: We have stormtrooper helmets.

  20. TSO #20: Does the back of that t-shirt have a target on it?

  21. Joshua says:

    Mebbe I’ll see ya there.

  22. tranvk says:

    The ship was playing “All Along the Watch Tower” on the 1-MC when we stepped onto the flight deck to get ready for our first mission into Iraq in 2003.

  23. headhuntersix says:

    I promise to keep our boy safe and not get him pimped out to an ANA COL. If you want to embed him, I’ll work to get him down to you but we’ll need to flesh out a full embed plan otherwise Mrs TSO will kill me if I loose him in the wilds of Afghanistan. We have a 15 day or so window. We’ll hit KAF and work from there. BAF won’t be a problem. If and when my boss does her battlefield circ I should be able to get him out to some of the far flung destinations. I am responsible for the man so I can’t promise everybody gets a piece of him.

  24. headhuntersix says:

    I’d like to thank TSO for not outing me…I enjoy shouting my mouth off here..which doesn’t mix well with being a mouth piece for the man.

  25. Anonymous says:

    TSO: best of luck. I must say I’m a bit envious.

    I won’t say “stay safe”; you can’t always, ’cause the enemy has a vote. But you can be careful – so be careful, amigo, and come back without any involuntary unsanitary random body piercings.

    And keep us posted, please.

  26. UpNorth says:

    Looking forward to the postings, and, like the others said, I’m envious.

  27. Marine_7002 says:

    Someone needs to get in touch with J Wayne Duckworth in case TSO needs any additional protection. :-D

  28. headhuntersix says:

    We have plenty of room on the bird if anybody else wants to go.

  29. BillT says:

    I’m not a PAO and I don’t play one on TV, but if you need sustenance in Kabul, I’ll buy you a cuppa and a pizza at Ciano’s — beats doing the Taliban Two-step from chowing down on the All Curry, All the Time in the DFAC.

    Unless, of course, you *like* curried coffee…

  30. Cedo Alteram says:

    Hey good luck TSO.

    Last I read the enemy is expanding it’s control in Wardak, a province which was generally not a top priority for them, relatively speaking in previous years. That Chinook that was shot down with the SEALS over the summer, was in Wardak.

    Have no idea about Ghazni.

  31. Hondo says:

    headhunter6: would love to (if y’all would have me, of course), but current family situation just won’t allow it. Thanks.

    TSO: Anonymous above was me. Brain cramp while posting last night.

  32. Damon says:

    Don’t forget to take your friendly neighborhood military cartoonist with you… or at least shoot him some cartoon fodder while you’re over there.

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