DCSIMG

Kabul to Kelso: from desert duties to sandpit castles

Union Jack typing up this weeks article in the Afghan Media Operations Cell compound at Camp Bastion, Helmand.

Union Jack typing up this weeks article in the Afghan Media Operations Cell compound at Camp Bastion, Helmand.

In this, his 15th article for us from Afghanistan, our columnist makes preparations for his final, long-awaited trip home to Kelso.

Finally, I begin my long journey home. After a week together, my relief has taken over my email accounts and briefing schedule.

I have shown him where to find the essentials on camp – laundry, dining facilities, barber, UK support element, gym, shops and small Afghan market.

It has been a unique adventure. I have met and worked with some highly-dedicated colleagues, all committed to building a safer and more secure Afghanistan.

After seven months, I can focus on routine matters – like today sorting out wi-fi to type my weekly column, rather than the rabbit-in-the-headlights feeling I had on arrival.

When my five-year-old son asked me if I had been fighting baddies, my initial response clearly shattered his playground bravado.

I have been spared the true horrors of war experienced by those colleagues physically fighting insurgents. But, on reflection, I too have been fighting baddies – using my skills and experience to ensure that the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) and Afghanistan government messages are delivered effectively to fight the insurgents’ propaganda.

But for now I have done my duty. Seven months is a long time to be away from friends and family. This weekend, however, my focus will be on requests to camp in the garden, help with homework and building a sandpit, rather than living in one.

 

Comments

 
 

Back to the top of the page