The first blog I want to direct your intention to is Kandahar Journal by Richard Johnson, an internet acquaintance of mine, of the National Post (Canada). Richard is deployed out to Afghanistan again writing about the 1,000 or so Canadian soldiers who are still deployed in Afghanistan. While he has just recently arrived, he also has been interacting with soldiers and press relations officials. I greatly appreciated his post on writing "the letter". The pain and drain of everyone who has deployed can be felt in his words. I have had the luxury of shredding mine.
His main claim to uniqueness is his artistic skills. Just looking at his drawing of the Apache helicopter in the repair bay brought back to me the feelings of heat even in the shade of the tent and the sounds and smells of the mechanics bay.
|Illustration by Richard Johnson|
|I waited a good deal of my life at flight lines. Illustration by Richard Johnson|
There was a blog on xoJane that captured the spirit of these fobbitts. The blog post was entitled Deployment Beauty: Make-Do Tips From the Green Zone. The blog was infuriating as the civilian woman complained about how smelly the bathrooms were and how she was too busy to take showers for days-on-end. She goes on to complain about "the worst" chow hall in all of Afghanistan and how YouTube is blocked on her wifi. Reading this tested my patience as a person who was on a camp which frequently ran out of water due to Taliban and even allied forces interfering with supply routes (one starts to eye water bottles a whole new way when deliveries stop), had to join groups that would provide cover each other when we needed to relieve ourselves outside in Taliban territory, and was shot and shelled at. And there are many out there who had it a lot worse than me.
(Rebuttal from a respected reader: at least she was offering solutions to overcome some personal difficulty of her's rather than just a blog posts of complaints)
The blog focused primarily on the woman's beauty tips for her being deployed. A fellow blogger contacted xoJane and they stated the blog post was taken down because of the outcry the writer received. However, the magic of the internet allows one to read and download the post below.
Deployments can be hell, surreal, fascinating, troublesome, rewarding, or shamefully spoiled with the good life and vain complaints.