|Admiral Mullen was especially interested in the lessons learned over the course of three consecutive ADT's, all from Indiana.|
You could say that Holy Week of 2011 passed by in a whirlwind, but perhaps a cyclone would be more appropriate here given recent events. Regardless, I continue to marvel at how fast the time is passing by.
Each week that passes means that we are one week closer to seeing our beloved families, but also one week closer to closing out our strategic projects while also beginning transition initiatives that will help bring our replacements up to speed with life in the Khowst Province.
|FOB Salerno tornado- April 18, 2011|
Just as we here at the 3-19th began to think that Monday's tornado would prove impossible to top, Tuesday brought some excitement of it's own. For several days, emails detailing an up-coming USO tour had been circling around email servers here on FOB Salerno. Admiral Michael Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will soon be retiring so as a little retirement gift to himself- he decided to make a farewell tour. The tour would feature NFL Hall of Famer and (most importantly) former Purdue QB Bob Griese, his son Brian who is involved with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and a Cuban supermodel/actress named Mayra Veronica.
After learning that a fellow Boiler alumnus was going to be on the FOB, I thought it'd be nearly criminal for me not to offer my services as an escort to the delegation for the day. After several days of trying to connect with the event coordinator, I later learned that many others around the base had also volunteered their services. (I can only assume that most were interested in meeting the supermodel...)
|Admiral Mullen tours the 3-19th ADT Farm with the team members.|
Three of our younger, shining stars on the security portion of our team were selected by their platoon leader to attend the lunch. Aside from our several members involvement during the lunch, the ADT didn't have any specific responsibilities during the Chairman's visit.
Upon hearing that Griese would be present to sign autographs; I coordinated with Specialist Jared Sweet, a Purdue student who is currently on military leave from classes back in West Lafayette, to head over to the recreation area where the USO tour was scheduled to appear. As we arrived the area, we were greeted by the gentleman in charge of the event coordination. Apparently he felt bad for not returning my calls or emails in the days prior, so in an apologetic effort he offered to take us in to meet Griese and the others privately as they finished up their lunch. As soon as the staff whispered into Bob's ear that there were a few Boilermakers here to see him, he hopped right out of his chair and made a beeline to where Jared and I were standing. Bob's first question pertained to trying to figure out how a couple of Purdue grads ended up working here in Afghanistan. He was delighted to hear about the ADT concept though and found our work very practical after learning how dependent the Afghan economy was on the agricultural industry. After a few more minutes of describing our backgrounds to Bob, the topic turned towards Purdue.
As for Purdue's recent dilemma regarding the Purdue Pete mascot, Griese was excited to report that the old Purdue Pete would remain the mascot. The three of us were all also in agreement that retaining Matt Painter as basketball coach was also a wise decision, as he's well worth the money.
|Specialist Jared Sweet and I striking a pose with Bob Griese. Sweet is|
a Purdue Law & Society student who is currently on military leave.
|As always, the solar dehydrators proved of interest to the Chairman.|