02 June 2012

Being a Leader

There is nothing quite as unsettling as a call in the middle of the night.  Now, put that call in Afghanistan, to a leader with several soldiers outside the wire, many more soldiers on the FOB, and an extended family in the rear, with a variety of health issues, including a pregnant wife, and you've got a guy bolt-up in his bed and answering as fast as possible.

I've had two such phone calls this week.

The first one was one of my junior leaders.
His convoy had been hit by sniper fire.
Fortunately, the "bulletproof" glass held, and the round didn't pierce the cabin... It would have taken off the TC's head.
The poor kid has only been here a month or two, and he received our first enemy contact this season.

The second phone call was not as simple.
Soldier calls, and first thing they say is "I'm alright"
....I'm fully awake now....
Their convoy.... Their specific vehicle....was hit during an ambush.
The impact rattled the vehicle a bit, but thankfully the vehicle did its job.  It saved their lives.
The worst injury was a cut to the face, and a small one, at that!
I was sooo very relieved to hear that!
The hardest part about being a leader is having soldiers you look after.  They are your "kids", and it is your responsibility to keep them safe, and get them home safely to their families.
That can sometimes be hard to do, especially in a war zone.

I should know, I lost 6 of my guys during my first deployment (including my leader).

I am thankful of the higher powers for the blessing of safety....
I am thankful of the Chaplin for blessing the convoy before it left, vehicles included....
I am thankful that the impact didn't destroy the vehicle...
I am thankful it didn't hit the gunner...
I am thankful my medic was able to stay level-headed, and do their job amazingly during their first true "test"...
I am thankful their weapons aren't as sophisticated as ours....

...And I am thankful for every new day I get to be with these amazing folks.  As we say goodbye to the ones leaving us, and we welcome in their replacements.  As we continue to run missions, and stay safe.  And as we finish up this deployment and return home to our families.  Together.


  1. May you & all those with you continue to be safe. May the equipment given to protect you continue to do so. You are all in my thoughts & prayers.


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