Blame the Public Affairs Officer

Father’s Day weekend included a trip to Philly for the Islamic Cultural Heritage Festival. While there, I saw a few Afghan restaurants (but didn’t eat at any of them.)

Father’s Day weekend included a trip to Philly for the Islamic Cultural Heritage Festival. While there, I saw a few Afghan restaurants (but didn’t eat at any of them.)

(For my Facebook readers, Facebook is horrible at displaying pics with the matching blog post. Please click the “view original post” link below to see pics properly.)

On father’s day weekend, we went to Penn’s Landing (in Philadelphia.) While there, I saw a few Afghan restaurants near the pier. I got my fill of Afghan food while I was in the country, so we didn’t eat there. But I peeked at the menu they had posted in the window just to see if I recognized any of the dishes.

I was surprised at the prices … they were very expensive (compared to what I used to pay while actually IN Afghanistan.) There was a woman (who appeared to be an Afghan-American) tending to the restaurant. I wondered what the men in Afghanistan would think about seeing her in America, making (lots of) money selling Afghan food on her own.

I only “wondered” for a minute … I’ve been trying not to think about Afghanistan ever since I returned.

But, it’s not that easy to forget about Afghanistan… whether it’s hearing about a friend that’s going or returning, or the constant daily news reminders, not one day goes by where I’m not reminded of the ‘stan.

Most recently, the “changing of the guard” between McChrystal and Petraeus has me thinking about how my deployed friends (many of whom are military public affairs officers serving in the ‘stan) are doing.

You may ask yourself: “Why would you worry about the PAOs? It was McChrystal who said those things, right?” (The Rolling Stone article does mention some off-color comments from his staff.)

The funny thing about the military and the media is that when a military person says something wrong, no one in the military blames the person who SAID the words. The first thing military people ask after a servicemember says something wrong is: “Who/Where is that person’s public affairs officer?”

I can’t speculate on what happened in McChrystal’s case. But I’m sure military leadership asked that very question while trying to figure it out.

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