Monday, 2 September 2013

Happy Labor Day from Afghanistan!

Yesterday was our Labor Day celebration and the day was a massive success! I set my alarm for 2am night shifter time (technically 2pm in the afternoon) to be at the office for 3pm. After massive damage control Friday and Saturday we officially pushed up the start time of the event to 4pm to beat the 6pm "don IBA and Kevlar" protective gear for the evening.

Once at the office, the next three hours was a whirlwind. The Military police and Fire Department blocked off the road in front of our office, we set up at dozen tables, chairs, the Lemonade stand. The Airborne band set up on the front deck. We had a raffle set up with dozens of prizes. The major scare of the afternoon was at 15:50 when my co-worker still wasn't back with food for 400 and guests were already arriving! Fortunately with almost 30 volunteers we were able to get everything set up in a flash and with the grills already going, the party just took off! One of my favorite parts of the event were the 4 teams of military working dogs that came to support us. With the Combat Stress dog on the road, I invited the working dogs and was so surprised when 4 teams showed up with 3 Black Labs and a Spaniel, all desperate for affectionate and attention. I hate to say it, Major Eden (the combat stress dog) but I think these working dogs are going steal your job! The head handler told me this was the first time they'd ever been invited out to an event so it was obvious both the dogs and the handlers were thrilled!

After the party ended, Susanne and I took our left over dessert to the hospital and we visited with a few patients when we learned from a unit out here that a few of their guys had been ambushed. Then I managed to get in an hour of sleep before I came on shift. Mercifully, one of my close girlfriends  brought Pizza Hut over about 11pm and she stayed and kept me awake until 2:30am. Then I called home and managed to catch almost my entire family at my parent's house for a BBQ which was the best way to end the day!

I hope you enjoy the pictures!

My good friends the Vets! They suggested using the Military Working Dogs

The CASF Medevac crew and I, this is the unit in charge of the
Medevacs and getting the wounded warriors home

We estimate about 300 over the two hours!

My friends at the Korea Hospital!

Playing with a mine dog :-)

Clark and I during clean up

My good friend and volunteer Ashleigh ran the raffle!

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