Friday, December 24

Merry Christmas everyone!

This is a photo from a Christmas party I went to at the U.S. Embassy. Standing with me are some ISAF Officers I've worked with and LTC M, the American PAO I used to work for. They're all great people and it was spend time with them outside of work.

It’s pretty much just another day of work here. We’ve been doing little things around here to make it special. Many of you may have received the intelligence spot report on Santa’s latest movements that I forwarded. There was Christmas caroling last night. We had a Christmas Eve poker party. One guy I work with wrote a casino supplies distributor in Vegas about the planned party and that we needed chips. He sent an aluminum briefcase full of casino quality chips to us. I went to a Christmas party at the U.S. embassy the night before that was thrown by their Director of Communications. It was a nice get together with good finger food—no booze of course. For the past two months I’ve actually been filling the role of Senior Watch Officer at the Joint Operations Center. It’s pretty neat to have my finger on the pulse of everything happening here and to help direct our responses to situations. The JOC has people from Army, Navy, AF, and Marines (no Coast Guard) representing various military disciplines/specialties and elements in the country. It’s a pretty fun group and time passes quickly. I’ll be home for two weeks of leave in January.

About ten days ago I had an opportunity to go to a USO show at Bagram Air Field. It was an extra special show because they were also here for the ground-breaking ceremony for the new USO lounge at the Bagram military terminal to be named after Pat Tilman. Plans are for the lounge to be completed in time for the Super Bowl and they’ll televise live several times during the Super Bowl from the lounge where some Soldiers will be watching the game. Here are some photos. I got some autographs too!

John Elway talking to the crowd at the ground breaking.

Robin Williams surrounded by Soldiers. He was fantastic. Not only funny, but plain good with Soldiers. He might be the next Bob Hope.

Robin Williams performing in a show after the ground breaking. Look in the top row of the bleachers, second from the right. Recognize anybody?

Blake Clarke. You make recognize him from the movies Waterboy and 50 First Dates (and others). He was also hilarious, and he had a special connection with the crowd. He was an Infantry Platoon Leader in Vietnam.

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