Firefight turns up amusing find

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I suppose I have gotten used to the helicopters vibrating my little B-hut living quarters in the middle of the night, because I don't seem to wake up because of them anymore; yet, I know that they are there. While the week may have been long, it was another week down and one week closer to redeployment back to Colorado.

I have not begun the "countdown" yet and I hope that I never do, because that only has a way of making the clock move slower.

This past week was marked by chilly evenings and chilly mornings. The sunshine, however, warmed up the Jalalabad skies to make for Spring-like afternoons. Earlier in the week, we were busy in the process of making plans for another run into the Pech River Valley.

The more we dug into the planning for the operation the more apparent it was that the trip had no real added value to our mission. Thus, we discarded the opportunity to roll into a firefight, which is probably a good thing.

The Afghan National Army got into a fight with a few insurgents Laghman Province several days ago. They killed at least two guys, capturing their bodies as well as a Soviet-style machine gun and some other random items.

Some of the random items were some pill packets that had stains of blood on them. The name of the pills were Paracetamol and Sildenafil Citrate. The ANA S2 asked me what they were, and not being entirely sure myself, I took the name down and asked our medical lieutenant.

When I came back to ask her about them, she told said, "those pills are everything soldiers need... pain reliever and Viagra."

I about lost it and wasn't too sure how to tell the ANA S2 exactly what this insurgent was carrying around. To be quite honest, I still haven't told him what it was and he hasn't asked about it.

I have found great joy in working with our Afghan partners, as frustrating and slow as it might be.

Maj. Rahmdil, the ANA S2, is probably the most intelligent person I have ever worked with. Even though I am limited to conversing with him through a third person, I am convinced that there needs to be more officers like him in the Afghan National Army.

His competence, professionalism and overall sense of duty to his country exceeds that of many American officers I know.

Whenever I hear negative comments directed toward the Afghans, I find my blood pressure rise and frustration grow, knowing full well that they haven't spent enough time with the Afghans to understand their way of looking at the problems here.

I hope and pray that all is well back in the states. The situation here continues to develop and I am still happy to play a small role in it. Take care and God bless!

First Lt. Andrew Plucker is deployed to Afghanistan. He is not an Army spokesman, and his updates from the field are written from his personal perspective as a soldier.

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