Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Deployment Entry 14

Well it's 2300 hr local time and I'm contemplating a nap before I have to be up and checking into the plane ride home. The last few days have been interesting. Did an RnR run with B3 on the Sunday. The city part of Dubai reminds me a lot of the streets of Penang - just a little bit cleaner. But the cheap trinkets and bartering was just the same. Australia really is a beautiful place. Did a lot of walking around and even managed to go to the gym that night for some PT. Need to do something to shift the 7kgs or so I seem to have put on. Fuck knows where?

Monday was a day of appointments. RTAMS was pretty straight forward. RTAPS was something else. It seems I am very angry/pissed off still at being sent home so early. Thankfully I haven't bumped into my replacement here because I think that would just fuck me off even more. The up side is that the psych says feeling like this given my situation, is completely normal and that it's ok to be angry and frustrated. I am sure it will be alright once I get home.

Went on a night RnR Amenities run to the local shopping mall. Holy Shit! Now there's the fancy snobby Dubai everyone talks about. It was a very high end shop - though it did have Cinnabuns! So I got to see what all the fuss was about. OMG amazeballs. Bought a box for P but since I couldn't get  a way to get them in country to him I ate them myself. Shared them with an American officer so I didn't have to deal with eating them all myself.

Today was uneventful - just straight forward dekitting, some more PT and then a lot of sitting around. Not looking forward to the long ass flight home but it will be good to get home and back into a routine, I think. Since my deployment was so ridiculously cut short that I am not going to fill this book I might use it as a diary for my time at OTS as well.

Write more when I am back in Aus.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Deployment Entry 13

The last few days seem to have been a real blur once I knew I was going home. I'm sitting in my transit accommodation back in Al Minhad, Dubai, having flown out of TK earlier today. It was strange - I felt a sense of loss, a disconnection from 'family' as I left Afghanistan. I know I'm doing the right thing in going home early but didn't make leaving any easier. Everyone kept asking me if I was excited to be going home. If I had been in country for 13 weeks already then maybe I would be, but having only been there just over a month all I feel is a deep sense of disappointment and incompleteness - like I have left something unfinished.

The days leading up to my departure were interesting. Played my last game of TK poker - only managed a 4th this time and somehow, knowing it was my last game, it just wasn't as much fun. The same could be said about the indoor cricket. I played well but it was not as much fun as it has been, because it's done now. To top it off I seem to have inadvertently thrown out my deployment bracelet! Bin diving to no avail - so that totally topped off my morning this morning. Fucking Afghanistan!

Work was strange. Tasking after tasking was systematically taken away from me or just overtaken, by C, until I felt like I was just sitting around doing nothing. I understand taking some ongoing things off me, since I won't be there to see it through, but things like the badge applications was something I could have kept doing right up until I left. Ah well. Fucking Afghanistan!

Last dinner in TK was alright. Went to down Cole and tried friend Catfish for the first time. It was actually pretty tasty. The boys from the Badge Office came to dinner so I hung out with them for a bit. Was really nice of them to come to dinner and see me off in their own way.

Had my first Role 2 a few days before I left. A young 12 yr old and his older brother (25) brought in with gunshot wounds. I had to watch as the older brother, guts falling out, died in front of his little brother while his father sat outside waiting for news. Nothing like helping out someone's insides back in as you're trying to scan him after he's died. Was a pretty crappy thing and kind of surreal really. Shot by the ANA - the fucking people who are meant to protect them and look out for them when we leave. This country is just fucked up and will go to shit again soon after we pull out. I hate to think the last decade has been for nothing but a part of me can't help bit think we have made very little difference really. The people here just don't want to learn a new way of life. They want to be primitive stone age people regardless of all the things we try to teach them.

The CO came and saw me off today which was pretty nice. She presented me with an Anzac Day Coin even though I won't be there on the day. I think the WOD had a lot to do with that but I am grateful either way and will cherish the coin and the short time I spent in theatre.
B and I are going on an RnR run into Dubai tomorrow which I am looking forward to. Going to see about getting some Cinnabuns for P and some proper chai to take home for myself. I'm really just looking forward to getting out and seeing the city. Other than that it's just dekitting and relaxing to be done here. I will probably go to the gym Monday and Tuesday. Nothing much else to do here really. Then it's the long flight home early Wednesday.

Can't wait to see my boys. Miss their adorable faces so much!! Feeling a bit tired and flat so might sign off for now. Oh - did enjoy a 10 minute shower tonight for the first time in over a month. Looking forward to a massage and maybe a pedi/mani when I get home.

P.S. Might even be tattoo time soon.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Deployment Entry 12

It's getting very hard to feel like I have been robbed of an experience that will truly be once in a lifetime because I have made the choice to go home early. It appears that I will be departing TK this coming Saturday - and I will be flying out of AMAB Tuesday of next week. So not only have I been denied Anzac Day in Afghanistan, it now appears I will be denied Anzac Day in an operational environment full stop. I have marched with my MWD every Anzac Day since I joined, and I told myself missing it this year was made up by the fact that I would be experiencing it in a deployed location. Well apparently not!

I know I am going home to begin a new chapter, to more into a new phase of my career, and I am excited to do that. But I cannot help but feel robbed of this once in a lifetime thing. Does that make me selfish?

Already I fell a sense of disconnection with the team. They're already putting aside shirts and the like for my replacement, and talking about her in front of me. I haven't even left yet! What feels like salt in the wound is that all along WDW stressed that she had to seek my replacement ASAP because she couldn't hold a gap. Yet I leave this Saturday - my replacement will still be in Australia. So apparently she can hold a gap when it suits her, but it doesn't suit her to keep me around for an extra week? I honestly don't understand!

I wish it wouldn't upset me so much though. I'm tired of being emotional and crying over this crap. I'm going. I can't change it, so now I just want to get home, enjoy a ridiculously long shower and spending time with my boys. It will do me good to see them. I have missed their cute little faces and waggy tails. I still don't know what to do about M. I no longer feel like a k. I no longer get that buzz when she calls me "Mine" and it seems unnatural now to call her by any title. Now she is just the net friend I have in the USA that I talk to a lot. Maybe this was always going to happen? Maybe we were always going to grow apart like this? Maybe I was always a fool for thinking it just might turn out differently?

Maybe I deserve to feel like this?

Maybe I can't do it anymore?

Maybe it's all just in my head because everything else is going to shit - why shouldn't the best thing in my world go to hell too?

Maybe I subconsciously sabotage the positive thing in my life so that its all dark and black and full of pain?

Trying to arrange an RnR run into Dubai for Sunday so I can see what the city is like before I go home. Fingers crossed.

For now though I am going to try and shut off my depressive mind and sleep a dreamless sleep - I can't lose her. I love her too much.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Deployment Entry 11

It's the 13th today - yes I know... slack! I had a rest day from the gym. Will see tomorrow whether that was a good idea or not. Also had a nice long shower tonight since I missed the water cut off the last two nights and had to baby wipe and ENJO fibre wash with a bottle of water. It's interesting how nice it feels to have smoothly shaved legs again.

B2 was supposed to organise an FPSS photo today before the boss goes on leave but of course he didn't.  His ineffectiveness is mindblowingly obvious. Not sure how he will go as the acting OIC. And of course B1 has only been back a day and already the laziness is evident. I typed up 3 IR's this afternoon without so much as a helpful comment or anything from him. I suppose I should expect no less really.

Not long now until I head home. Had hoped to have more to write about and more to experience here in TK but the limited pages of my rambling will have to suffice.

Trying to work out now what the best career path and posting plan is for me. I have a feeling I might be headed for a posting to Darwin. Will be strange to be out of Brisbane and away from everyone I know and love. But then it's all part of life in the military I guess and people have always said that the travel is one of the best parts. Haven't truly experienced that yet because I've been in the same place for my entire career.

Really not sure what to do about M. Tested the waters a little last night it would seem, in my overly tired state. Made the mistake of mentioning the terrible V word - visit. Shot me down pretty damn quickly which was like being cut open and then kicked in the wound with salt covered boots.

"I love you" - but I never want to physically be in the same place as you. "You're my love" - but I will keep you at arms length and be reluctant to share too much with you. "I miss you" - but I won't ever call or let you hear my voice. "I need you" - but I'll never actually send you the things I claim I will. "I own you" - but I won't trust you enough not to be guarded and distant.

I must be the biggest idiot on the planet. An idiot with a permanent reminder of just how naive and lame I really am.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Deployment Entry 10

So I keep apologising for being slack and not updating in here often enough. It's not so much a case of slackness as it is just sheer exhaustion. The days here are long. I am used to long hours at home but those are generally done at night where I come home and fall straight into bed to sleep for god knows how many hours. Here I am up at 0445 hr to go to the gym, then at work from about 0730 hr right through until generally somewhere around 2000 hr that night. Wouldn't be so bad if I then went straight to bed but my brain doesn't work that way.

It's been an interesting few days. We all got our asses ripped by the boss on Friday and none of us can seem to work out why. Think its got something to do with someone back home talking out of shop or something because it doesn't seem to be from our end.

Getting a good crash course in picking my battles. C decided to throw around her CPL weight today and alas, being the lowest rank here, for now, meant I suddenly became a gopher to her laziness. I understand that as a new CPL she needs to learn to delegate tasks and to manage troops, but there is a difference between delegating out of work efficiency or necessity, and delegating out of laziness. Had a good chat to P about it though so it didn't phase me too much.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Deployment Entry 9

Sorry that I haven't written much lately - haven't really had anything positive to write about to be honest.

So I sat down with the CO and advised her that I wished to RTA early so that I could take up mu commission this year and head off to OTS in July. This means replacing me here, which I understand, but from everything that was said to me I would still get a decent amount of time here to make the deployment worthwhile.

Went off to KamAir which was it's usual cluster fuck. P and B had to go off to a Role 2 casualty so that left C and I running KamAir on our own for 30 minutes. In a country where women hide under burkas and are subservient to men you can imagine how well that went down and how much they bothered to listen to us. Something that should have been finished earlier than normal, since we started an hour earlier than we usually do, took all fucking day. Add to that one of the KamAir vehicles got a flat tyre so we spent forever getting that all sorted.

Get back to the office ready to finish up for the day and BAM! MVA into the outer perimeter wall. This was pretty cool though, even if it too took forever. A US Navy Seal big rig snagged a massive section of the outer perimeter. I took some pretty cool photos of it for back home. Day was done by 8pm.

Got in to work the next day, after taking the morning off from the gym, to find out the CO wants to send me home from here by April 24. So I only just get a month in location - because they want to ensure the replacement member gets a true deployment experience. What the fuck about my deployment experience? That obviously counts for sweet fuck all now that I have decided to go home. And if that's not enough of a kick in the guts - I miss out on the last Anzac Day in Afghanistan for the ADF most likely. So definitely feeling like an outsider now and like I am no longer a part of the team that is ROTO 6. Well go fuck yourself WGCDR DW.

Played my first game of indoor cricket in over 10 years last night. I played like crap but it definitely beat sitting around the chalet trying to act like I wasn't pissed off.

From what I can tell the brief I gave the boss went really well and I am a day ahead of schedule on the final report - which he is really impressed with. Not bad for a doggie who has never done a SPIC course.

So now I am just treading water for the next 17 days and trying to find some kind of enjoyment in this place. Really - I'm obviously not wanted here enough that she wants to fuck me off as soon as possible, so now I just want to go home. I fucking hate Afghanistan!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Deployment Entry 8

Big day today. Lots to think about, lots to stress about. I really wish I had M's contact number here with my because I could have used her advice today. I heard back from DP-AF this morning and the goal posts have changed for me again. If I choose to stay here for the full term of my deployment then my commission date gets pushed back further than originally thought.

The original thought was that it would push back until some time in January, which meant just delaying by a measly 4 months. But now, if I don't RTA early it pushes everything back until June/July of 2014 and puts my IET back until Feb 2015. So I am not fully qualified until April 2015 and cannot be deployed as an Officer until that time. Plus it means returning home to be a ploddy LACW for a further 12 months. A lot to weigh up, a lot of things to consider.


The advice I have gotten from the few people I have spoken to has been really freat. Tomorrow I need to convey my intent to the CO to take up my commission this July. What an insane year 2013 is turning out to be!


Investigation is going well. Getting confirmation on a few things and pretty well ready to brief the boss. Just need to go through the best way to do that on Saturday with P first so I don't look like a dick.

Played my second game of poker tonight and managed somehow to come second again. Quite amusing since I don't really have much of a clue as to what I am doing. Must work on that.

Loving seeing all the pictures of the boys on Facebook. Can't wait to get home and see them, even if I will be disappearing again relatively soon after.

Got a great surprise when I opened my email tonight. Not only did she email me, but she attached a photo!!! OMG!!! This woman is breathtaking. Her smile just makes me melt every time I see it. What I would give to really see her smile at me like that.

DOLA day tomorrow so a small sleep in for me before the fun filled adventure that is KamAir.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Deployment Entry 7

Can't sleep - too stressed so think I might hit the gym nice and early (3am).


Ok so the early morning run session probably wasn't the best idea. Now I feel like ass. Ugh and we have KamAir today.


Update!!! Phoenix has been found. The wonderful people at the pet shop around the corner recognised him from the Qld Lost Pet Register post on facebook and got in touch with my house sitter. The knot in my stomach has lessened significantly safe. No sign of Blaze though which worries me. He is a pure bred Cav so more likely to be kept than a 9 year old Boxer (as beautiful as my old man is).


KamAir done and dusted. It actually went nice and smooth today which was a pleasant change. Seems that the boss has been made aware of the cock up that was yesterday because he has come in today and issued us taskings for the week. I am effectively running the investigation into the burn pit which is pretty awesome! Hopefully I don't stuff it up!

P has been awesome, teching me how to draft up Final Reports and Requests For Information. B & C on the other hand make running things painful. If I ask for something by COB I don't expect to have to reask it the following day and then also have to explain why I need it!


UPDATE!!!! Just spoke with mum and the lovely lady who found Blaze. They took him to the vet who scanned his chip and rang mum as the emergency contact. So both my boys are back home!! Phoenix has scratched his eye so is on some drugs and eye drops. The boys are up at mums for a few days and already I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders, knowing they are safe and relatively unharmed. People can turn around and say 'they're just dogs' but they're my babies. They're my kids and being over here helpless while they're lost, scared and stressed out - it was hard. Mum says Phoenix is stressed out and sticking to her like glue. My beautiful boy...

I will be home soon.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Deployment Entry 6

Happy April Fools Day!!!

Well the last few days have been long and tiring which is why I haven't written much. We have had to work from 7am until 7/8pm most days recently and then been on call up until around midnight waiting to see if we were needed. Add getting up for the gym and that makes for a very tired pnut!

Saturday was a long but interesting day. It started off with the usual drug run out at ECP 1 & 3. Nothing much in the bins for collection that day, just some hashish and used naswar. After that we had a walk around Camp B. That was pretty cool walking around all the Apache helicopters. We are hoping, once B gets back from leave, to get some photos. I think that would be awesome!!! The rest of the day was spent working on an investigation that I was involved in, interviewing the offender again and writing out a statement/report.

I did manage to go to Nabi's and have decided to order myself a tanzanite which I will get made into a necklace with white gold. I need to google how expensive tanzanite is so that I can be sure I am not getting ripped off but I don't think I am. Still waiting ror my protein powder to arrive and then I will have to pay E at badging some money but once that is done I will be done with spending money here I think.

I joined in with the chalet poker game saturday night. It's all good fun and not real money so I figured it wouldn't hurt to play. In saying that, I don't actually know how to playing poker - but somehow I managed to come second, only just losing out to M in the final hand. It was pretty funny really to see me, the girl who doesn't even know how to play, knocking out seasoned players. It costs $10 to play each night, but the money raised goes towards an end of deployment function we are going to have in Dubai. Still, don't know that I will make a habit of playing every poker night. We shall see.

We had a comms lock down, or a CLP RED, saturday night due to 2 soldiers being injured. Haven't really heard anything more about it so I am assuming they are okay, or at least that there hasn't been any fatalities.

Sunday was the RAAF's 92nd birthday. We had a BBQ lunch which was really cool. Most people got to knock off early but we were busy writing out statements and setting up ops for today. Still managed to get off to G's hard to get (butt and thighs) class. I love the class, even though it hurts like a motherfucker.

Hanging out in the chalet of an evening is fun. I get to laugh a fair bit chatting with the CO but I still haven't quite adjusted to the fact that the place is practically empty by 2030 hr. I'm still wide awake (most nights) at that time. I'm quite sure in a few more weeks that may change but for now it's still how my body is working.

Didn't get up for the gym this morning as I was a little tired and my back was a bit sore but I will be going this afternoon. Today has been the worst day here so far. It's quite ironic that on a morning when the boss sits myself and C down and assures us that we are both part of the team and very valuable members I have spent the majority of the afternoon feeling anything but. I have been systematically and completely excluded from the surveillance of the scrap metal yard and burn pit despite it being my ground work that led to the conformation of what was happening, by who, when and how. It seems today that all I am good for is running around like a gopher.

To just top off what has been a shitty day, just spoke with mum and found out that my boys have run away. De ja vu! I'm stuck here on the other side of the world while my dogs are wandering around lost. FML!!