My First Impression
By: Tpr Jonathan Wallace, 32 Driver
1 May 2009
It seems like it has taken us ages to get to this point, in the squadron. We have finally gotten our boots on Afghan soil and immediately started doing what we’ve trained for. So far it has been relatively quiet, which has allowed us to settle into our respective roles. The leadership, no doubt, is trying to piece together the role our squadron will play while we are here and figuring out how to run everything using the few people that we have. The tanks we received from the previous Roto were in good shape, except for the few quirks that are expected with these machines.
For many here, this is our first tour in Afghanistan and the first time we’ve seen a third world country. Afghanistan has some nice landscapes and is a lot greener than I first imagined. I pictured a barren wasteland with vast flowing deserts. Don’t get me wrong, that part does indeed exist. What I didn’t picture was: the abundance of people; the abundance of vegetation; and the elaborate irrigation system. There are children, everywhere. Whenever we stop, we draw a large crowd of curious kids. But you have to look out for the ones with sling shots or you might get a nice bump on the head. There are fields everywhere and they are currently brimming with different crops. Some are legal while other ones are not so much. It’s the height of the harvesting season so these fields are constantly filled with people, some good, some bad. It is surprising to see that their irrigation systems can supply water to all of the fields. The villages are a mishmash of mud walls that form compounds with structures inside. Everything here seems to be built solely for practicability and nothing is wasted.
While taking that all in, we are gradually making ourselves at home, in the FOB. We are getting up to speed with our daily routines and duties. But, there are still many lessons to learn and I’m sure that for everyday we are here, until the day we leave, there is always going be something new to learn.