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Larry with the ANA Command Sergeant Major

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Letter from Afghanistan, 13 Nov 04

Sent: Saturday, November 13, 2004 07:17
Subject: Some pictures and what is new.

Everything has been going well and I am getting busier with my new Kandak (Afghan BN). I am mentoring an Afghan Command Sgt. Major who is very hard working and dedicated to the cause. Lucky for me he speaks a little english and I am getting better at Dari so it is working out well. They have just finished Ramadan and are celebrating their festival of Eat (spelling). We had breakfast and lunch with them today for Eat and they served cookies, raisins, nuts for breakfast and rice with chicken for lunch. Between meals we were talking with local Afghan commanders and soldiers while reviewing their kitchen facilities. Don't ask about their conditions. Since they are on holiday for Eat we will be doing good will visits to several villages tomorrow. Yesterday we had an awards ceremony. We received our combat patch for being in a combat zone for over 30 days. I also received the Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB) for actions in Herat. If you have not seen one they are a very prestigious award for the Infantry. They are awarded for soldiers that have been in direct combat action which we were during the riots of Herat and the rocket attack at the UN compound.

All of the soldiers in our team are doing well.The Afghans are very happy to see the US here and they like to see that the ANA and the US soldiers work closely with each other. Since we work closely with the ANA and the local people I have been learning a lot about their culture and the similarities are amazing to our culture. The people and soldiers have the same concerns and issues as we do in America but not to the same degree. The soldiers constantly tell me how hard working the Americans are and they don't understand why we don't rest more often. I think I will learn that lesson from them when I get home.

If I don't get a chance to talk to everyone I hope that you have a good Thanksgiving and Christmas.

1SG Larry Kerwood
ETT 7/2

(Click on any image to view at full size)

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Ex-Mujahadeen comander and I turning in weapons to UN. BMP, BRDM, tanks etc...
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Mail and supply delivery.
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Weapons cache that we found. 10x this amount is out of the picture.
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Castle in Herat. Stronghold for Warlord's troops.
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Herat Riot. That was a car. 25th Div. scouts in Humvees while we were on the ground.
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More weapons outside our safe house.
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T62 heading to local warlord battle about 10km from us. Luckily they waved as they drove by.
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Luckily he is on our side. SPG 9 - anti tank.
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Local inhabitants. We kept one as a pet for a little while but let him go. Have not seen any giant ones just lots of these little guys.
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Local warlord house at the top of small mountain which became new Governor's residence when warlord was ousted. Place is huge.
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T62 tank driving past MIG. Tank is heading to the UN turn-in point for DDR.
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Some of our ANA Kandak.

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