Back in Afghanistan

First some updates, our group arrived in Afghanistan the first week of November and it has steadily gotten colder since we have been here. We are in the Kabul area now and it snowed last night, not too bad, just enough to give us a taste of what is to come. Last week, President Karzai had his inauguration and was sworn in for his second term. We had one suicide attack last week, no one was injured too bad, a few cuts and some headaches. Here in Kabul, the people are in the majority of support of President Karzai. Its good to see the people of Afghanistan united, it makes our job easier.

Training Afghan Police

This time around I'll be training the Afghan National Police instead of the Army, like last tour. It is different from the Police you think of back in the states. I won't bore you with all the differences but the main goal of both (Army and Police) here is to win the support and confidence of the people of Afghanistan. We refer to this as "putting the Afghan face" on things. For example, when we do missions we step back and let the Afghan security forces work and we advise and mentor. Its actually very rewarding and I enjoy it, apparently I'm a good teacher, who knew?

Why I'm Thankful

I hope everyone has a very enjoyable Thanksgiving! I'll be thinking of home, even more this year than in previous deployments. I've had good things to be thankful for in the past such as family and friends but this year with a new wife, two daughters and an unborn child(due in June) I am more thankful than I have ever been in my life! So, eat lots of turkey, watch all the football, but mainly hug those that mean the most to you and tell them how much you appreciate having them in your life. To wife and daughters-I love you and I'll see you soon!!

Volunteering to Gelp Others

I was a little hesitant about this group I was with as far as me thinking we didn't get enough training, they were new or maybe I've just done this for to long but today they impressed me. We are the "new guys" as far as getting into Country, most have been here about 4-6 months. So, being more experienced than most, I volunteered to take one of the patrols out on Thanksgiving Day to give the guys that have been doing it a break. Well my team heard what I was doing and even after I had given them the day off, they ALL volunteered to go out with me to give the entire patrol a chance to call there loved ones and have some down time. So tomorrow, I'll be taking out all but one new guy and that is the epitome of teamwork. I've seen the Military change a lot over the years since 1986 when I joined-but that is one thing that never gets old to me(like getting up early)is the espirit de corps of these guys, my friends, my brothers. Just one more thing I will be giving thanks to tomorrow

I love you all, take care and I'll see you soon

Still serving Proudly,

SSG Billy G. Massingale