Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tales from Afghanistan, Chapter 3: Callsign “Warden”.

Nate's blog: October 5

We haven’t been here at our FOB long, and it’s already been eventful. The sounds of gunfire, mortars and other bombs being dropped, explosions in the distance (and sometimes very NOT distant), helicopters buzzing around overhead; this isn’t a scene from your favorite war movie. This is what I wake up to every morning. At first it was unnerving to everyone, but as we have gotten used to the area we have learned that this is just business as usual in Afghanistan. The Marines here cover up their unease with jokes and teasing the junior Marines who jump at every sound, but the truth is everyone is nervous and some have already learned that “eventful” is not always a good thing.

Adapting to life in Afghanistan has been hard, but if there is one thing Marines are good at, its adapting. Every Marine here has a job to do, and some have many. In order to reduce giving away any sensitive information, we have been given “callsigns” to use over the radio. I have been giving the callsign “Warden”. It fits, and it’s pretty badass. Mail has slowly started to arrive here, giving Marines another opportunity to keep busy. For those of you that have a family or friend who is deployed, I highly encourage you to send them something! Whether it’s a care package or a simple letter, the effect mail has here is amazing. Just knowing that someone back home cares enough about them to write, well it makes this place a lot easier to deal with.

We aren’t the only ones living in this FOB though. While waiting in line at the “Chow Hall”, I discovered cats! A group of about 5 small kittens, running around and playing in the dirt. According to the Marines leaving here, there are TONS of them living here. We aren’t allowed to touch or play with them, because of fleas and disease, but they sure are cute. My wife agreed that a wild Afghanistan cat is just what our demon of a cat needs to keep him in check!

Not much else to report this week. The lines for phones are long all the time, and often are shut down, but I have been able to call my wife a couple times so far. It’s never enough, and I know everyone else feels the same way about their loved ones. I will be doing some travelling soon, so I’m not sure if I will be able to update this as frequently as I want. But I will do my best!

PS: For everyone who has left positive comments on here, thank you! For some reason it won’t let me add my own comment, but I do read them and appreciate them! Inessa, Saija and I are looking forward to hanging out with you guys again!


  1. Thanks Thanks Thanks from an all American mom! (Wendy is my daughter). We remember so well when Mike headed into Iraq as a Marine and all that was entwined in that. So very grateful for you and your courage. You are in our daily prayers and we appreciate the sacrifice you and your family are making daily. Thanks too for sharing on this site and keep up the good work! Oh--and yes...please do stay away from the cats!

  2. Good call sign :)

    I'd love to send you and the other guys in your unit letters and care packages. :) Definitely want to make sure you guys are taken care of while out there. Let me know if there are letters (or things) needed and where to send 'em.

    Take care.

  3. Blogger won't let me add comments all of the time, but as I promised on the first post, I am still reading. Be careful out there.

  4. Yvonne: Me and Mike were in the same platoon, it was a crazy time then! Necxt time you see Wendy and Mike tell them I said hullo!

    Azn: I don't want to post it on here, but Sean can get my address to you.

    BP: I know how you feel, this is the first time I've been able to comment!