OC's Update - July
29 July 2009
As was mentioned last month, we are beginning to come to the end of this adventure in Afghanistan. We are now well past the halfway point and the soldiers are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The Sqn has been working exceptionally hard and has accomplished a lot in its time over here thus far. Despite daily QRF deployments and a high number of operations, SSM Richard Stacey is leaning forward and starting to get the FOB ready for the fast approaching hand-over with B Sqn. It won’t look the same as when Maj Hume left from his recce.
The weather hasn’t really changed that much since the summer months have started. It is still sunny and hot with no clouds or wind and around 45-50oC daily. Though; the occasionally thunder/sand storm will sweep over the FOB, severely limiting overall visibility; but it’s worth it to feel a few drops of rain on our faces. It is a welcome break from the unrelenting sun, though it does mess things up for a while.
There have been some interesting challenges that the soldiers have faced, most of it not enemy related. The QRF can now be called the Quick Remediation Force as they continue to repair roads and keep them suitable for every day use. Not quite what they had in mind when they got here, but it keeps the traffic flowing and commerce moving; all for the betterment of the locals.
We had a very quiet Canada Day, celebration wise, here on the FOB. Tpr James Lajoie ended up on CTV Newsnet, wearing a Canada Flag tie and showing his patriotism. The tie was of course from the Regimental Wives Club who worked hard to send us a Taste of Home full of patriotic items. It was a great boost for the Tps and gave us a good reminder that our loved ones back home are thinking of us and supporting us the best they can. The Sqn sends out a heartfelt thank you to the Wives Club for their efforts to make us feel more comfortable here in the desert.
Congratulations to those soldiers who received promotions this month. Tprs Matt Sebo, Richard Van Der Merwe, and David Aube all received their first hook this month. Tpr Aube had the honour of having his presented to him by BGen Vance, while he was off gallivanting around the countryside with 99TAC. We also congratulate Capt Joel Rubletz from 1 CER who won our Oilers Jersey Raffle.
The soldiers are looking forward to completing the last leg in our journey over here. They often think of home and look forward to when we leave this place for the last time. Until then they are all thinking of theirs families back home, are working hard and continue to do great work over here.
The Squadron will continue to put articles on to the webpage and each Monday in the Edmonton Journal. I still encourage you to contact the Mission Information Hotline where you will hear messages from the troops in Afghanistan that will be updated at least weekly. The number is 1-800-866-4546 when the initial greeting is given you will need to dial 1-1221 for English and 1-2221 for French.