Anyway, as most of you that are paying attention know, I was part of a platoon of tankers. Proudly. Top gun in the entire Army. Big deal.
...Well they took me away and threw me back to the infantry grunts, all along with a promise of a promotion I have yet to recieve.
So the days of patroling in a tank have now turned to patroling on foot, all open and vulnerable. Hate it. Not to mention IEDs have changed for me. Use to I'd lose a tire, now I'll lose a leg if it happens. Hopefully not, unfortunately a good buddy of mine did infact have this happen to him just last month. Poor guy, I was mad as hell that day. Bastards took his leg. He's taking it pretty damn well though, making jokes about getting prosthetics and free pancakes from IHOP for the rest of his life thanks to his new Purple Heart.
Anywhore, foot patrols through the villiages around here makes you get a better perspective of the people that live here. Still primitive, still poor, still very very needy. And most just outright rude, especially the kids. Having kids throw rocks at you when you're trying to help them is just a big slap to the face. And the ones that dont throw rocks at you just swarm around you asking and begging for stuff. Snacks or pens mostly. Especially pens. Heres a quick little bit of info for you guys. "Kalam" means pen in their language. Learned that real quick. I have no freaking clue what their obsession with pens are here, but every time we go out, every single kid we see just constantly says over and over again, "Kalam! Kalam! Kalam!"
Ugh, but I'm nice to them. I'm nice to all the locals in general. Even the ones giving us a hard time. Hey, gotta show them we are a lot nicer than the Taliban if we want the people to cooperate with us and not them, right?
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The kids want pens, equipment for education and learning to write, in pretty much any third world country you could go to.