5 hours ago
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Just a quick note to let you know I'm alive :)
I've settled in here at Bagram, and am working away in the firearms lab. Seeing a lot of interesting stuff come through, especially as pertains to the age of ammunition being used.
Just the other day, we had a case come through where I actually had to go searching and look to figure out what kind of ammunition it was. It turned out to be Short Chamber Boxer-Henry .45 Caliber Rifle cartridges, originally designed for the Martini-Henry rifle. That's Martini-Henry rifle, as in the rifle the British used against the Zulus, way back when. And speaking of way back when, as far as I was able to ascertain, these particular cartridges were manufactured, sometime between 1910 and 1930. Looked like they'd been hanging around here since then too. How often do you see a commercial black powder cartridge, with paper patched lead bullets?
Fun times, and interesting to say the least. Random alerts and running to take cover in concrete bunkers also keeps things interesting as well :)
All in all though, life is pretty easy over here. I think my wife ended up with the short stick, having to go to work, and take care of the house, the kids, and the dogs too.
Anyway, I'm doing good, hope everyone is ok back Stateside.
Take care all!!
Friday, January 28, 2011
Finally got my papers, and I fly out tomorrow night for Dubai. It's a thirteen hour flight, which leaves at 1o:30 PM tomorrow evening, however, due to time zones crossed, I will arrive in Dubai at 8:30 PM the following day. Talk about screwing up the old internal clock :) The company will then put me up in a nice hotel, for less than twelve hours, before I catch another four or five hour flight into Bagram Air Base, in Afghanistan, where I will spend the next year of my life.
Wow, sounds kind of weird when you say it like that. I'm hoping it passes quickly. I already feel a little regret at the things I will miss in the lives of my wife and daughters. However, the things I will see and experience seem very promising. In addition to the forensics work I was hired to do originally, it looks like I will be involved in training members of the Afghan National Police in aspects of Crime Scene Investigation, Firearms Examination, and basic Forensics. I've never taught before, so this should be an interesting experience. Hopefully, my passion for Forensics will make up for any shortfalls I might have as a teacher.
I'm still kind of mind-boggled at the opportunity I have here. I don't know how or why I was selected from among all of the other applicants, but I am certainly thankful. I look forward to finally being able to do the job I'm getting paid for.
I think that posting will be lite, but who knows, with less distractions(i.e. beer), I may actually get more posting done while I'm over there. I should certainly have a large pool of things to post about.
Anyway, I'm heading out tomorrow. Hope you're all doing well. Stay safe.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Just an update for those who are interested. Not in Afghanistan yet. Currently in Jacksonville, NC trying to go through some training at Camp Lejeune. As soon as I get that done and signed off on, I can deploy. We've run into one little snag there though. The snow.
Who would've thought that snow, could or would shut down a Marine base? It was snowing as I drove in this morning, eager to get the process going, and was informed upon arrival, that the camp was on a 2-hour delay. Only about a third of the group scheduled for processing showed up, so we started to get a little paperwork done, when about 0830, word came down that the base was being shut down.
I hopped in the car, after brushing the 3 inches of accumulated snow off of it, and proceeded to head back to the hotel. The 20 minute drive to get there, in the snow, was increased to a two and a half hour drive to get back to the hotel. Every 'non-essential' person on the base was scrambling to get off base at the same time, what a cluster. I will say that everything proceeded orderly, if not quickly. I don't believe I broke 5 MPH on the way off base, but then again, I only saw one fender-bender on base, and no uncontrolled ditching of cars, though I did see several who had apparently pulled off to the side and secured other transportation.
So I'm sitting here, looking forward to getting started tomorrow, when the alert comes across that the base will be on a 4 hour delay for 'non-essential' personnel. Funny that, I can't hardly remember the last time I was considered 'non-essential'. That generally goes out the crapper when you strap on the badge. Heck, even when I was just doing fingerprinting in the jail, they sent a truck with chains to come and get me during a bad ice storm.
The civilian world is a little odd, and is taking some adjusting to get used to. Will probably be even worse when I get back from a year on a military base. I still feel like a cop, and apparently still act like one, judging from some people's reactions. However, I get a little pang when asked for ID, and I reach for my badge wallet, that's not there anymore.
Also, carrying nothing but my P3AT when I've been home for Christmas, has me thinking and re-evaluating carry choices. While it's a perfectly fine gun, and does exactly what it was meant to do, I'm thinking that when I get back, I need to look at purchasing something a little larger. At least 9mm, if not bigger, for daily carry. That, in and of itself, is going to start a new line of thinking as well.
One of the big advantages of the P3AT, is that it slips into a pocket, no muss, no fuss. Something larger, will necessitate a belt rig. I've heard good things about IWB carry, but have never done so, nor even handled an IWB holster. So that will take some research and experimenting.
Anyway, I'm doing good, though anxious to get going, and feeling like everything that can happen to slow me down is going to happen. Hope everyone is staying safe out there.
I'm going to have another beer, and step outside to ponder the oddity that is snow on the Carolina coast(even if it is North Carolina).
Take care all,