Thursday, October 28, 2004

E-Mail From Afghanistan


Here is Staff Sgt. Torres' latest e-mail home. I'll post pictures a little later:

Before I begin to tell my adventure let me start my saying I am doing well and
missing everyone. I have said it before and I will say it again there is no
place like home no place like home! It rained down here and the mountains are
getting their share of snow. Does that mean Christmas is coming soon? Because
it’s getting mighty cold! Oh wait turkey day is coming up next.

The sweet smell of home cooking fills the mind with thoughts of family and friends.
The games and movies shared with the family will truly be missed this year.

Well here is the latest of another of my patrols.

Once again we were selected to go. We walked to a village that shot at one of our towards last night. They shot at it with an AK-47. I was really surprise. The elections went well, so why now?

Well we boarded the Hummers picked up two interpreters and off we went to the gates. We went out gate 3. To my surprise the whole patrol was done by foot. Lord have mercy! My aching feet as I write this email to you guys. You may not be aware but Afghanistan does not have good roads or sidewalks to speak of. This means that your feet bend and move in different directions as you move over these mounds of dirt and rocks. Not to mention the additional gear you must carry! The additional weight does wonders for the feet. My flag vest alone is about 22 lbs. plus the additional gear food, water, cold weather gear, compass, binoculars and helmet you name it. At least 10 miles or so of this torment. To make it worse walking through what appeared to be deserted towns looking for clues of any misdoing. Strange how people look at the ghettos of Los Angels. You should see these ghettos. Scary when you walk through these small rickshaw type streets. Looks like something Hollywood created at their studios. You wait and hope no one pops out firing their weapons. You then hope that you find a large cache of ammunition because that would mean fewer
things for them to fire with.

We finally came across a village where people stood and watched you. The women run to their houses or gather around. They squat as to hope you do not see them. The kids knew how to ask for chocolate. Amazing even the small 2 year old knew how to ask. All boys, but the girls stay far away. I didn’t like this village. The kids where to uncontrollable. Let me explain what happen, I have an assault pack full of candy and other items I may need if we can’t get back. I asked a corporal to assist

I had more kids around me then I could manage. I was straight out scared for me and the corporal. Little hands were coming at us, I had sensitive military equipment that I sign for and if one is missed, I’ll let you think of all the paperwork and court proceedings I will have to deal with. Well the kids got their candy and I was not missing any equipment and most important of all a new lesson learned. Well we talked to the village elders and moved on. We did what are leaders asked. We went through 13 checkpoints and found nothing.

No words I write can ever explain the lessons and things seen. Truly I tell you god does work in mysterious ways. The things that take place are for you to learn. Shared, yes with others of his choice but felt in different ways. Tell me how unique is that? I’ll let you ponder on your own experiences.

Well thank God almighty that we made it back! The mortars were set up and standing by in case we met resistances.

But things went well and there was no engagement.

Well that’s it for now enjoy the pictures and God bless you all!

SSG. Torres, Jorge L.
Observer, Camp Bulldog
Bagram Airbase, Afghanistan


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