Monday, May 3, 2010

Update from Afghanistan - SFC David Broderick

Everyone, I served with David during Operation Iraqi Freedom III. He is a great team leader and I ask your prayers for him and for the safe return of his team later this year. This is also his address if you want to send a care package.
Thank you and God Bless our Troops.

>>from SFC David Broderick, PRT Zabul, FOB Lagman, APO AE 09383

Hello Everyone,
This message is coming to you late Saturday night (your time), so I hope all of you are enjoying yourselves, AND staying out of trouble. Remember, that's my job! LOL
Not too much to tell over the last month. Just dealing with how our role in the area is evolving, and getting used to NOT being a kinetic type Soldier. Basically the role of the PRT (Provincial Reconstruction Team), of which my guys are the Security element, is to help support the training of GIRoA (Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan) in Agriculture, Governance, Education, and Security. Through our activities, we try to help legitimize GIRoA in the people's eyes, and in turn, help them secure their own country. This is a challenging task to say the least. Countering that are our "friends" in the Taliban, who can hide in plain, wield a LOT of power (especially here in Zabul), and who want Afghanistan to revert back to a Sharia law state. Sharia law is a very strict form of Islam much like you see in Saudi Arabia. The Taliban also likes to hit U.S, coalition, and Afghan forces with IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). They are getting better & better at this task, so that is a little worrisome. In the middle we have our Special Operations brethren, who go out and look for the Taliban, but also stir up the people because the people feel disrespected by being stopped & searched, or searched in their homes. If something gets damaged, broken or destroyed, the PRT comes in to apologize and ask how they can help - so I get to deal with lots of angry and/or frantic people.
On the good side, where we live is actually one of the better FOBs (Forward Operating Base) in Afghanistan, so we feel very lucky for that. The air is relatively clean, the bathrooms are ALWAYS clean, and we don't have to wait for food/laundry/internet when we have the time. Another note of good news, is that we've been replacing old armored vehicles with new MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) type vehicles over the last month. Look up MATV, and see how cool those little buggers are. As a representative of the U.S. Military to you, the American Taxpayer, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! My platoon also got the opportunity (which we've been begging for) to go out and go "Army stuff" to assist in searching for insurgents & IED makers, and overwatching key terrain. That was a cool few days and the guys were very excited.
Well, I will quit rambling and close for now. I hope that all of you are well, enjoying the Spring, and that life is going good for you. I look forward to seeing you again in the not-to-distant-future. I'll be home on leave, En Sh'allah Sept 8-22. Take care, be cool, and stay safe.


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