an update, some praises, and a few requests . . .
Update: We have less than a month here. I'm praying the time will go fast, but the more I think about it the slower it goes so I'm trying not to think about it. We are gradually losing personnel as guys start shipping back so our already stretched combat power is getting even smaller. Our operation tempo is slowing down considerably. It's also poppy harvest season, so the TB's kinetic activity has slowed down as well. Plus, they know the 101st is going to bring the heat this summer so a lot of their efforts are focused on defensive strategies. Nevertheless, the threat here remains real and staying sharp is mandatory.
Last week GEN Stanley McChrystal, the ISAF commander, visited our company again (he was here in March as well) to go over the strategy in Afghanistan and to hear some of the issues we face in our part of the fight. As you've probably heard in the news, winning the fight for Kandahar is crucial for our efforts here and the future of Afghanistan so I feel privileged to be here and participate in this part of history; although I'm not going to feel bad about heading back home :-)
Praise: I feel like I've finally broken through the unseen “wall” that exists when becoming part of a group, especially a fraternity like the infantry, and am having more and more intentional conversations with my soldiers about Christianity. So far things are progressing well and I'm looking forward to hosting an “explorer” type study into Christianity and the life of Christ for these guys when we get back stateside. On top of that these guys are coming to me more about the issues they face on a daily basis regarding fear, uncertainty, anger . . . stuff everyone deals with in a combat zone. I feel privileged to be where I am. You definitely have to earn the right to speak, especially in this job.
Request: Safety. We are still in a combat zone and are running combat missions, so be in prayer for the safety of my men and I. Also, pray that I would make the most of the opportunities the LORD is giving me with these men. Lastly, pray that Margaret and I would secure a house in Colorado Springs soon. We thought we had a place and it fell through. She is still working hard but it is a frustrating process. Pray the LORD provides.