Wednesday, April 8, 2009


In my last post, I failed to mention the reason for our trip. My boss, Col. Julian, my good friend, LT Dave Hecht, and I took a team from CNN to see development efforts in Afghanistan. We are barraged in the media with images portraying the negative side of this conflict, but there is much else on which to report. Significant progress has been made here during the eight years. As a Public Affairs Officer, I am blessed to have the opportunity to see so much of the country. Many soldiers never leave base. While traveling in Afghanistan is dangerous, I want to seize every opportunity to know the country better.

Our stop after Bagram was the ancient city of Herat in Western Afghanistan. Herat is on the famous Silk Route and one of the largest cities in the country. Since the fall of the Taliban, the international community has transformed the area, and Herat now has 24-hour running water for the first time in its history.

The Italians and Spaniards have led the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Heart. The camp where we stayed is called "Little Italy." To give you some perspective on the international efforts here, the camp is home to nearly 2,000 Italians and only eight Americans! The food was delizioso. The pizza is as good as any I've had in Rome (or at Matchbox or Sonoma on Capitol Hill).

By the way, "Esercito," written on the side of the helicopter, means "Army" in Italian.

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