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Posts Tagged ‘OEF’

prayer invite

Combat forces are expected to leave Afghanistan sometime this year.  Today about 42,700 troops remain in country; about 30,000 of them are soldiers.  The total number is expected to drop to 34,000 by February.

It is often shared that the most dangerous time on any deployment is the first and last month of your tour.  The first month is dangerous as you learn the ropes and discover how everything needs to work properly.  The last month is dangerous as many folks are in a hurry, tempted to take short cuts, and focus more on going home than the immediate tasks at hand.

Please keep all of our service members in your prayers this year as combat forces continue to return home.

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HQ

I hate the headline and I hate the underlying issue.

The US military built a 64,000-square-foot headquarters building on Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan that it will never use.  The two-story building is bigger than a football field and cost taxpayers $34 million.  It comes with all the tools to wage a modern war.  A vast operations center with tiered seating.  Check.  A briefing theater.  Check.  Spacious offices.  Check.  Fancy chairs.  Check.  A powerful air conditioning system.  Check.

The structure was completed this year, but the military has no plan to use it. Commanders in the area, who insisted three years ago that they did not need the building,  are now in the process of withdrawing forces and see no reason to move into the new facility.

Are you angry yet?

The building is unused, unoccupied, and will likely be demolished.  It would cost more to open and operate the building, than to tear it down and leave.  On a similar note, the Afghans cannot afford to open or operate the structure due to its grand size.

Why would you build a permanent structure when temporary buildings got the job done during the surge?  Why would you spend that much money when commanders specifically said that the need did not exist?  Why would you construct a permanent building when the locals can’t even maintain it?  It seems simple now, but perhaps the questions were also easy to ask three years ago.

I point out this news story to highlight the need for good judgment and speaking the truth.  At some stage in the game, someone needed to stop this project.  A person needed to be bold, share what was happening to leaders, and save the day.

This week saw the first level of military furloughs.  We are making military technicians stay home one day a week, so that we can cut defense budgets.  Perhaps our leaders need a strong, bold, voice to remind them that employees matter.  When your paycheck is being reduced 20%, stories like this only put salt in the wound.

I also want to point out the horrible waste that went into this construction project. Think of the orphanages, schools, medical clinics, or hospitals that could have been built and supplied instead of this empty structure.

Perhaps there can be some redemption in this story if we learn a lesson to stop bad ideas before the ground breaking ceremony.

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deployment

I have seen this list several times and wanted to share the photo.

If you have endured any of the above while down range, then this list might bring a smile to your face also.

Enjoy!

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If you are looking for a cause that needs your prayer and support in 2013, look no further than the American Soldier.

Even though the surge ended this year, there are 68,000 service members who are still fighting in Afghanistan.  While the headlines talk about budget cuts, college football games, and Hollywood celebrities, their stories are often untold and forgotten.

These are America’s warriors who have left their homes and families to defend our nation.  These are the college students who cancelled classes when their nation called.  These are the fathers and mothers who missed a child’s first steps at home.  These are the veterans who have dodged bullets and bombs to stay alive.

Remember them in 2013.  Remember those who are fighting and sacrificing for you.  Remember military spouses.  Remember military families.  Remember them in your prayers and your efforts.    Remember the 68,000.

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