Problog

Hello and welcome to my blog. It is a blog about an Air Force Physician that was reluctantly deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan for 6 months.

I have to admit, I did not exactly volunteer for the deployment, and I was a little anxious about how it would all turn out. I ended up making the best of it, and surprisingly, I actually had a pleasant, life changing, experience.

I decided to keep the blog up and running because I kept on hearing, "Why is it that you only hear the bad news coming from Iraq and Afghanistan." I figured that I was helping spread a positive message about what we are doing over. Even more important, I wanted to continue to spread the word about the plight of the Afghan people, 99.9% of which are the most incredibly friendly people that you will ever meet. The title picture is a great example of that. I have never encountered such genuinely warm and friendly people. It was so strange to see so many people with so little material objects, yet at the same time, filled with so much of the joy that comes with close family ties, abundant friends, and a close knit community. We could definetly learn a lot from them.

You may notice, as you read the blog in its entirety, my arc. I shift from focusing on myself and my personal comforts, to shifting my focus on the Afghan cause. It is very easy to get distracted by the hustle of daily life and the comforts that the U.S. provides. It is really a challenge to awake from that coma and to start to care and think about the welfare of other people unrelated to you. I think it really took me about 4 or 5 months before I really opened my eyes and became personally affected by what I was experiencing. I hope I was able to recreate it.

I have tried to keep the blog squeaky clean so as to not offend anyone (or get me in trouble-I am still in the military). Even though I am a political junky with very strong personal opinions I have been steadfast in keeping this site free of any politics. I was called to do a job and I tried to do it to the best of my ability regardless of my political stance.

I recreated the blog to read more like a book, or should I say blook (get used to the corniness it only gets worse from here) just to make it an easier read. I have removed some names and pictures just to keep it more anonymous. I hope that it helps in making it less about me and more about the cause.

Lastly, in the spirit of the blog, I decided to include the Chipin Widget that I used to raise money for Nazia. If I get any additional money I will send the funds to The Women of Hope Project and someone over in Kabul will discretely give it to her (unless I hear otherwise). You can also contribute directly to the Women of Hope Project website. They are a wonderful cause. If you enjoy this blog then feel free to contribute. I am sure that once you read her story you will be very moved.

So kick back. Get ready to hopefully laugh and definitely cry.
If you like what you read then post a comment. I will be continuously editing this site in an attempt to improve it. Who knows maybe one day it will become a book!

Enjoy. Thanks for reading.

-Shazdoc

Today Show Clip

Chipin Widget

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Afghanistan Community Service Idol

"I believe in courtesy, in kindness, in generosity, in good cheer, in friendship and in honest competition. I believe there is something doing somewhere, for every man ready to do it. I believe I'm ready, RIGHT NOW."
-
Elbert HubbardUS author (1856 - 1915)

"In accordance with our principles of free enterprise and healthy competition, I'm going to ask you two to fight to the death for it."
-Monty Python

Thinking about all of the wonderful things that people back home have been doing for people in Afghanistan and the troops that are deployed overseas has given me a great idea (I know, I am so modest). I thought that it would be kind of fun to host an American Idol type competition where I showcased various community service projects that people have done or plan to do, specifically projects that support our troops and/or people of Afghanistan. This will also be a great opportunity for me to install the voting box that I have been dying to use. The winner of the contest will get a framed certificate signed by me along with and a very special place on my blog. The competition will take place on Nov 30th. Please email me with any entries you may have. Don’t worry, it is ok if you submit yourself.

Some ideas that you may want to consider is starting a 5K race and donating the proceeds to a local Afghan charity. Organizing a cookie drive for troops deployed downrange. Starting a children’s cold weather cloth drive through your church. The possibilities are endless. Be creative and more importantly make sure that you have fun doing it. Just for the record, I am not exempt from this competition by any means even though I am putting it on. I am working on an awesome community service project that will benefit local Afghan children. It will be hopefully be something that will be able to sustain itself after I leave here. I am going to have to keep you in suspense for a while until I get the details worked out. I am still in discussion with KBR, the Base mayor and some other folks out in town. I will keep you posted.

So without further adu, let’s start our first… (Dramatic pause)…..Afghan Community Service Idol….. (Cue the music).

Our first contestant is named Pink Country Girl (yes that is the name she provided on her email). She is a cousin of an Army Combat Medic stationed at COP near FOB Rustamiyah in Baghdad. She is currently sponsoring 2 soldiers through Soldier’s Angels. She has taken it upon herself to start a community service project where she asks businesses to donate medicines which she then sends to deployed soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have been the lucky recipient of one of her many packages and I have distributed them during the CMA that I participated in. The medicines that she sent were all high quality over the counter pharmaceuticals made by Perrigo Co.. They were donated by local Future Farmers of America alums. Additionally, the youth group that she is a part of is currently sponsoring 12 soldiers deployed overseas. Her quote is, “May the Lord bless and keep you for all that you are doing for the troops and the Iraqi people.” I am waiting for her permission to post her picture.

Lastly, I also have to mention, what is just as important as doing these community service projects is advertising and promoting them. I will be starting to write articles in an official air force capacity very soon. I think the first article that I will submit for publication will be on the HA school mission that I will be participating in later this week. Whenever an article gets published I will link it to the right hand column the right hand side so it can be showcased.

So do not forget to send in your submissions. I look forward to reading them.

Thanks for reading.

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