My name is Thomas Roberts, and for this first blog post, I just wanted to share one of the many stories I have while I was deployed in Kandahar Afghanistan.We first arrived at our F.O.B (forward operating base), and the unit we replaced did not treat this village very well. I remember that day, 0600 I was stuffing my pockets full of candy for the children and I made sure to grab extra water bottles to hand out as well. 0736, we arrived at the village and I pass a woman holding a small child who was covered in dirt stains, and the mother’s visage just bellowed “help me” so instinctively I go hand out some water to her. 0753 we are walking down the main street when I start getting a chill up my neck as if we’re being watched. Slowly but surely the villagers started disappearing into their abodes and started closing the shutters. We knew we were not welcomed to begin with, but we never anticipated the events that followed. POP! SNAP! BANG! INCOMING! We started taking immediate small arms fire from the 12 o’clock position. I immediately find some cover behind a dumpster-type-looking-thing and I look to my left to make sure the ally adjacent to me was clear, and what I saw I’ll forget. I saw the corpse of a dead dog, I thought nothing of it at the time, but I double checked to make sure. On that double take, I saw wires protruding from the rotting corpse, and as soon as I screamed “IE-” I was immediately engulfed in a torrent of; fire, rocks, bits of the dog, and hot melting shrapnel. I was then thrown 25ft into the middle of the fray, and then my medic ran up during all the fighting, grabbed me and pulled me to cover. The next thing I remember is my medic straggling me and viciously smacking my face so I’d come too. I immediately grabbed my .249 machine gun and begun reining fiery justice. After the fighting was over, which ended around 1830. I collapse from exhaustion of the fight plus the blast helped. I then recall hearing the all too familiar rough voice of my platoon sergeant saying, “you’re going home son.” I was awarded the purple heart that day. What had happened was my adrenaline had kept me going until I calmed down. During the whole fight my knee cap was dislocated and I had a torn ACL and had immediate surgery following the skirmish. That’s just one of the many stories I have from my short-stayed deployment in Kandahar Afghanistan. To lighten this post up a little bit more- I enjoy reading (it kept me going through the deployment), I love to go fishing, I thoroughly enjoy hiking and just being in the outdoors, I also enjoy long walks on the beach. I participate in martial arts, I am currently learning brazilian ju-jitsu despite my injuries from my deployment. I’ve been back since the beginning of the fall semester, and I’m still trying to get a hang of being a civilian again. The transition has been fairly difficult so far. I do not mind sharing my stories as I normally reference them from time to time, so in the event anyone is interested in hearing some, feel free to stop and ask me. In the mean time, I am looking forward to this class and meeting everyone who is a-part of it.
My basic training video. If you’re interested in what six months of hell looks like.
My deployment video. Audio was disabled due to copyright laws.