Yesterday evening, I sat in on a video-teleconference with a class of new young officers who will eventually replace me (and other Public Affairs/Information Operations officers) here in the ‘stan. They were attending an Information Operations class at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
I was asked to talk with them to give them a sense of what to expect once they arrive here.
As we talked about the challenges of Afghanistan, I could see the glossed-over look on some of the student’s faces. It was the same glossed-over look I had when I was learning about coming to the ‘stan. There are lots of issues that make the ‘stan complicated. Corruption, lack of resources, violence, women’s issues, lack of government, drugs and many other issues make this country a very complex place to try to convince people to change their lifestyle. But we’re trying.
Ultimately, that’s the one message I wanted to tell the students. “You may not see the fruits of your labor during your time here in the ‘stan. But, you’ve still got to try.” That’s kind of how I feel about working here. I don’t know what the end result will be, but, I’ll do my part and try … until it’s time for me to go home.
The sad thing for them is that after their class is done at Fort Still, they still have to go through the gauntlet at wonderful Camp Atterbury, just like I did.
Oh, what FUN they will have!
Even though their arrival is months away, talking to them yesterday was the first time I felt like I might be on my way home. It was a good feeling. I hope it lasts long enough to become a reality!