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Troops Serving in Afghanistan, Past and Present during the Holiday Season


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I am currently writing an article for Durham College on the cause and effects involving loved ones who are overseas serving in Afghanistan.  My brother is currently doing his second tour there and I understand how it can easily affect something as simple as not having him at the Christmas Table.  I would like to expand my article further and possibly get a feel as to how other families deal or cope with this sort of thing, especially with the holiday season just around the corner.  I would love to hear both sides, meaning the loved ones/family members and as well the ones who have to spend Xmas overseas.  Thank you.  I appreciate all responses to this posting.  And thank you for serving his country!

I'm quite happy to be away during Christmas, and won't miss it a bit.

I did miss scaring kids at Halloween, and Remembrance Day with old friends.
I think whats really hard about going over there is missing your kids no matter when your roto is. Thats just me holidays are just days. I'm glad I made it back for my daughters 6th birthday.
I'm quite happy to be away during Christmas, and won't miss it a bit.

Are you going on a holiday or serving ? I believe that would make quite a difference...

My husband will be back for Christmas and I am very happy.  :-*
My brother is actually the one overseas.  He will be gone for the holiday season but will have 3 week leave in January.  That is when the family plans together.  He finishes his tour the end of May 2009.  Godbless your husband's soul!

I was over during the holidays and it kinda sucked. For us Christmas is mostly for the kids, and I know they missed their daddy. They are good kids and understood that I had a job to do. We are not a religious family so the whole churchy thing is not our thing.
brave little soldier said:
Are you going on a holiday or serving ?


Club KAF.

The pool sucks, though.
3rd tour and spending it over there....again.

It's just another day for me, hopefully we can do something for the troops though.

I'll probably be spending Christmas in CM enroute sometime in that period to KAF.

Anyone know if Timmies is open on Christmas Day? I forgot to ask that during training......
;D Club KAF. The pool sucks, though.

Well, don't be so finicky :

You get a room (no view, sorry) ;
You get fed and get 2 free beers per night (all inclusive) ; Internet connection in your room ;
Yes, the pool sucks, but it's always sunny and HOT !
PS : you'll never get bored, there's lots of action and physical activities... 8)
My fiance deployed in early December of 2006 (hard to believe it's been almost 2 years!). He had an early Christmas with his kids, and we exchanged our presents early, too. The night before he was to fly out, we all went out to dinner (me, him, & our 3 kids) at Swiss Chalet. It felt very festive as it was only 2 weeks before Xmas. So the actual date of Christmas (25th) is not what is important, I think. It's the traditions we like to share and the family time that matter most, and these can be shared at any time before or after a deployment or during a soldier's HLTA.

I also have to say that Canada Post is phenomenal at getting packages to the soldiers in time for Christmas. I sent my honey a package a week before Christmas and it arrived a day or two before the 25th (took only 5 or 6 days, IIRC). Free shipping, too!  :salute:  :cdn: I do believe he and his comrades ate some goodies and watched Talladega Nights on Christmas Eve.  ;D
brave little soldier said:
and get 2 free beers per night (all inclusive) ; Internet connection in your room ;

What tour is this?  ???

Must have missed that when I was in KAF.  :crybaby:  ;)
Kandahar is more than dry, I had to sign for my 2 non-alcoholic beer for our Christmas dinner at the FOB last year. Apparently if I had snuck a case of it, I may get a buzz.... They even had a Lt in charge of the signatures!  ;D
brave little soldier said:
What tour is this? 

Moe, this is what guests are offered at ISAF, Kabul. I hear yours is dry...

Seen.  We were allowed two beer a day in Kabul but it certainly wasn't free.
Apparently if I had snuck a case of it, I may get a buzz....

Puckchaser : that might be the reason they wanted to check you out...  :p
Seen.  We were allowed two beer a day in Kabul but it certainly wasn't free.

:eek: WHAT ???!!!???

My husband told me the 2 beers per day are FREE : how you saying that he has been spending his allocations ?  :rage:
brave little soldier said:
You get a room (no view, sorry)

I have an eight foot by six foot space in a weatherhaven, a semi-permanent tent-like structure. There is nothing to view out of. The walls of my space are fabric, so there is no sound privacy and, as we work weird shift hours, there is always somebody trying to sleep so any conversations are whispered. I miss a bunch of letters as I type because I am trying to minimize noise, and have to keep going back and filling them in. The space alottment most likely violates federal regulations for jail cells, but, no, I haven't really checked.

brave little soldier said:
You get fed

The novelty of the mess food wears off pretty quickly. One gets what one pays for. It's free, so that's a double-edged comment. Those locations with Canadian cooks apparently do better, but I won't have a chance to see those.

brave little soldier said:
and get 2 free beers per night (all inclusive)

Two beers each per month, in theory, and I haven't seen one of them yet. Molson is providing those at their cost, which is appreciated. Wine is also available, for $6.00 per equivalent amount.

brave little soldier said:
Yes, the pool sucks,

The pool is the Poo Pond, about five hundred metres away fom my weatherhaven. The stench is not really describable, and can be quite choking at times.

brave little soldier said:
but it's always sunny

You are right about that, so far.

brave little soldier said:
and HOT !

Depending on what one is wearing and doing, that is not necessarily a positive thing. Fortunately for me, I do not have to wear my ballistic vest much, but I have had a little taste of that.

But I wouldn't describe recent weather as hot.

Walking back from the shower (a hundred metres or so) while still a little damp around zero these nights certainly isn't.

brave little soldier said:
PS : you'll never get bored,

Not so far.

brave little soldier said:
there's lots of action

Not in my job. The lack of that is compensated by lots of frustration, however.

brave little soldier said:
physical activities...

Yes, but I generally don't feel much inclined towards that after a typical day.

Now, I'm not complaining. I have it good compared to many, and I know it - comparative luxury. I'm just being descriptive.

And, to get back to the original topic, I'd still rather be here for Christmas than home.

But please, do not make assumptions.

Tip: If you use the "Quote" function instead of "Reply", your replies can look like this.
Oops - missed this one...

brave little soldier said:
Internet connection in your room ;

Seventy bucks US per month, very slow, and subject to frequent outages of varying duration.

Outrageous price for the quality of the service, but there's no competition.

Still way better than what many of the troops have, and way better than nothing.