Afghanistan – Individual Experiences May Vary

Captain Owen Lewis


On behalf of all the Strathconas on Task Force 2-13, Afghanistan, I offer our sincerest gratitude to the Strathcona Ladies for their excellent “Taste of Home” packages which, thanks to Chief Warrant Officer Bill Crabb, found their way to us quickly and in good shape.  Since mail typically takes a month or more to arrive here, the packages were a welcome reminder that we wouldn’t be forgotten out here (much to the envy of many non-Strathconas).

Initially, this article was going to focus on important matters, but the editor, Major Dave “No, you can’t just write about pips and moustaches! What is wrong with you?” Cronk, seemed to have a slightly different artistic vision than myself.  This tour is much different from past tours, and the stories coming back will be much different too; the weather in Kabul is far more hospitable than Kandahar and our living conditions are far nicer than life in Forward Operating Bases or out in the open desert next to your vehicle. 

When Captain Dave Peeling’s wife, Karine, was giving birth to their son, Luke, the magic of Skype let them share the experience to a certain degree.  The luxuries of comfort and freedom of movement stem directly from the hard fighting of past tours, which made Afghanistan infinitely more stable and secure.   While the Afghan military still has a long way to go, the Afghan Security Forces of today are leagues above what people may recall from past years.

This training mission in Afghanistan has a strong Strathcona presence.  Master Corporal Luke “Grizzly Adams” Jarjahfendic, seems to be doing well here except for apparently having gone feral.  His thick, luscious beard would be the envy of any lumberjack or Viking.  Major Tim “Salam Alaikum” Day has been hard at work within the Language Training Branch, doing a cunning job with linguists across Afghanistan.  Older minds might remember two former Strathconas, Major Zen Drebot and Captain Todd Parker, who are doing well here in Kabul.

As usual, there are many secondary duties and Strathconas seem to find more than their share.  You’ll find Captain Brandon “I want to be Mr. September” Frizzell helping out with the Volunteer Firefighters (mostly working on his aspiring modeling career).  When Master Warrant Officer Tony “Sir, your bottom button…AGAIN!” Mayfield isn’t busy keeping us all in-line, he’s been instrumental in orchestrating the many BBQs that we’ve been having to keep morale high.  Although we often find ourselves employed in many ways that we wouldn’t have imagined, we’re all honoured to be part of this outstanding training mission and finishing the final chapter of Canadian efforts in Afghanistan.