|Fireworks Over Salerno|
While even a scrumptious BBQ cookout followed by the finest cigar still wouldn't replace our loved ones back on the home front; we decided to do just what we have done for every other major holiday over the last ten months here in Afghanistan: cherish each moment and be happy it will be the last "insert applicable holiday here" you spend in Afghanistan.
Team members and a few other friends from different units across FOB Salerno gathered here at the ADT compound on Sunday evening, July 3rd for a Hoosier style cookout. With Independence Day staples such as burgers, chicken breasts, and hot dogs on the grill; it might have been easy for guests to imagine they were back in the States for at least an hour or so. As Chief Rance assumed grill master duties, I volunteered my services to prepare appetizers.
As I meticulously sliced each hunk of smoked gouda from the wheel, I said a little prayer that none of us would get sick from the cheese that had obviously seen a wide range of temperatures across the eight time zones it traveled through before reaching FOB Salerno. Four days later, I'm happy to say that all turned out well. There were smiles all around as I delivered triscuits topped with smoked gouda, the only thing we were missing was a nice glass of wine ;-)
|Senator John McCain exits a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter|
|Senators Joe Leiberman and Lindsey Graham walk with staff |
and security during a 4th of July visit to FOB Salerno
|Captain Jennifer Bales and I after the Blackhawk flight|
|Armed and Dangerous|
The view from the M240B machine gunner's seat
|With the Bugsy aircrew|