30 December 2009

Christmas with TF Saber

Capt. Dan Urquhart, left, a chaplain, leads soldiers from 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade's Task Force Saber in prayer in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Photo: Marcus Castro.

Nice story by John Ramsey of the Fayette Observer. You can read the rest of it here.

It's just another day for a platoon in Afghanistan

ARGHANDAB RIVER VALLEY, Afghanistan - In their mud-walled compound next to a pomegranate orchard, the men in 1st Platoon are having company tonight.

It's not the kind of company associated with mistletoe and eggnog.

Another platoon from the same unit - Company C, 2nd Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division - is set to move into the outpost to help secure the area just north of Kandahar.

For the 1st Platoon, that means a Christmas Day foot patrol to a spot called Route Philly, clearing the way for their new roommates to arrive.

Mission first.

But the platoon's soldiers are not going to ignore the holiday altogether. A wooden table is decorated with a 2-foot-tall Christmas tree, and a giant white stocking hangs next to a door.

Most, if not all, of the men will have the chance to call home. Sgt. Barry McDonald and other soldiers have been saving their cell phone minutes for it, just in case they can't make it to the satellite phone.

If they can find a goat in the village for a reasonable price, they'll cook it over an open flame - a substitute for the traditional can of ham.

It's not like home, but it's something.

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