Sunday, May 16, 2004 7:36 AM
Thank you for all the support you have shown
to the deployed shirts. Thank you for the shirts as well. It means a
lot that people like yourself support the troops that are deployed.
Thank you for all that you do.
Ben D. Aster, TSgt USAF
Explosive Ordnance Disposal
Sunday, May 16, 2004 10:19 PM
I am surprised that other people say that much about us. We live and
work away from everyone else, we see people in our squadron maybe 4
to 5 times a month. Generally we are off disarming roadside IEDs Improvised
Explosive Devices) off base. Usually when we go over to the Air Force
Camp, something bad has happened, so we are generally not in a talkative
mood. I'm usually screaming for people to get away. But any other time
I am nice and somewhat talkative.
You are probably going to ask what it is like outside the base. Well,
there is filth everywhere, then there is more filth. Not much to look
at, just flat land scape, with some trees, and some sort of farm land
mixed in. The city is what disturbs me, lots of people and traffic laws
are non-existent.Then of course it is extremely hot.
The children are the real victims here. Most have taken up a life of
begging for food, water, candy, sunglasses, etc. At first we gave them
water, food, and candy, but things change and we now keep them and all
locals away from us and our vehicles while we work. Now we generally
hear curse words yelled from the kids directed at us.
The food here isn't all that bad. Don't get me wrong, I would not go
out of my way to eat it if I had a choice. And when left with the choice
of skipping a meal or eating an MRE (Meals Ready to Eat), I generally
opt for skipping a meal. You can pretty much count on chicken, potatoes,
and/or rice being served at every meal, except for breakfast. They generally
have another choice in the main dish generally some sort of beef product.
Then you could always drive to one of the Army's fancy dining facility
and have three to four choices of main entrees to eat. I generally lose
my appetite after seeing how many people are in the place. No it isn't
bad, its just I value time alone away from everyone. A handful of people
is good, but when we are talking about several hundreds of people, it
just gets claustrophobic for me.
Well I need to drag the uniform on, the good thing about being here
is not worrying about what to wear tomorrow.
Saturday, May 29, 2004 7:59 AM
I only have 10 days
here then I am out of here and back to the small town of Fargo. Which
is going to be awesome to go home too.
It is weird, a lot of people keep referring to EOD troops as heroes.
I know I don't feel like a hero, heck some night I am just glad to go
to my bed and sleep. EOD plays a very small part in helping keep transportation
routes open and people safe. The real heroes are the Army guys (82nd
Air Borne, 4/5 ADA, 1st Armor Division) who are out there day in and
day out for 18 months at a time. Yet, these very same people give a
110% to keep my butt alive when I am outside of the base. They give
me my security so I can give them an IED free road. Another hero group
are the helicopter pilots. These guys actually fly into danger to keep
me safe, and keep flying in danger till I am safe.
It is easy to do what I do after all the support that is given to me
by all the other units, the real heroes.
Enclosed are some photos, one is of me disposing of several tank rounds,
and the other is of me just walking back from a post blast investigation.
Monday, June 7, 2004 11:41 AM
It looks likes I'll be going
home soon. Thank you for all that you have done.