Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas in Afghanistan


 As many of you know, my son is in Afgahnistan right now. He's stationed on the border of Pakistan in the very rugged very high mountains in Kunar province. This photo is from a recent mission where they were dropped off by Blackhawk helicopter onto a mountainside. There was no level ground and they had to drop (fall) out of the helipcopter and roll away until they could find footing to stop the tumble down the mountain. In the middle of the night. He retreived his gear the next day 'half way down the mountain.'


That's my baby. He's looking a lot thinner than the last time I saw him. I think we can fix that up with some home cooking when he comes back.  By the way this mission was deemed cold and boring. This mum loves to hear that a mission is boring.


This little vingette warms my heart.  Soldiers go in taking vey little and leaving with very little when they are deployed. So sending Christmas presents is a challenge. We've sent two disposable Christmases now. Bright colours because one of the things soldiers say over and again is how much they miss all of the colour at home.  Favourite treats, like Tim Tams and cashews. I send toys because I feel like everyone needs a little whimsy in their life. Really, doesn't everyone need to juggle a slinky or launch a wooden air plane once in a while? And they can always be passed on to children when he leaves.

This photo arrived in my email not long ago with the message that he'd spent 'a quiet evening decorating his little shelf while 'drinking the cocoa from his wonderful wife and a tree from his awesome parents.' Did you catch that? I am awesome :-) I think I got my Christmas present early because it's not too often that I am referred to as awesome. Oh, and he's the only soldier on his FOB with Christmas lights. Probably, that is why I am so awesome.

16 comments:

EB Bead and Metal Works said...

Thank you for sharing this! I have friends who are still in and they always appreciated the small things we would send them when they were in Iraq or Bosnia. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

For My Sweet Daughter said...

Thanks for sharing these pictures. It was a nice change from the hustle and bustle to see that beautiful shelf he made from the items you sent. It brought a tear to my eyes to think of all the soldiers away for their families celebrating the holidays while we are here amidst the chaos and excess.
I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday (and yes I am Catholic and I say Happy Holidays) and I will be saying thanks and prayers for your son and all the other soldiers.
Shannon C

Peridots Garden Blog said...

Such a beautiful and touching post! Having grown up as a "military brat" I remember all too well the "sacrifices" made by the service person and their families and friends...May y'all be blessed this Holiday Season!

And YES, you are Totallly Awesome!

Blessings and prayers for your family and THANK YOU to your son and every service person who are in the Armed Forces!

Sandy

mairedodd said...

moms don't need much, do they? i am so glad he is on a boring mission this time, because i know he hasn't always been in the past... glad he is surrounded by love to support him... and that you are having a heart expanding holiday this year... they might not all be from a normal rockwell print (in fact, little from my life is), but perhaps that is what makes us appreciate so very much...
oh, and by the way... that is only ONE of the reasons why you are so awesome... though his shelf looks fabulous and you knew exactly what to send...

TesoriTrovati said...

Oh, you are awesome, LeAnn. Thank you so much for sharing this. I am in awe of the things that our military personnel do and where they have to be. You made it a little slice of heaven out there with your gifts of comfort and joy. Please tell your son that he is in my thoughts and prayers. Wishing you a Merry Christmas!
Enjoy the day!
Erin

Katie said...

That's great that he called you "awesome." The rest of us already know that, but I know that it must be a huge deal to hear it from your own child - especially after surviving the teen years, when most parents are decidedly NOT awesome (according to the teens...)...

Thanks for sharing the pictures from Afghanistan. I can see you analyzing the picture of him, deciding he's too thin, and then wishing you could just run to the kitchen and whip something up for him :o)

Thanks for letting us know that all is well with your son - I know I wish for the safety of all of the soldiers out there...Tell him that a lot of crazy beady ladies are wishing him a safe and Merry Christmas...And that we're all VERY glad that the last mission was "cold and boring."

Mary Newton Designs said...

You ARE awesome! I'm so glad you're son is bored right now. His little shelf is precious!

BTW, the beads in your previous post are awesome, too! Love them!

SueBeads said...

You ARE awesome, and so is your son for what he is doing for us! Merry Christmas!

kelleysbeads said...

I don't think there was ever any doubt that you are awesome, LeAnn. Your outward love for your family says so much about you. Glad that his Christmas presents arrived safely and he was able to turn a shelf into the holiday happiness!

Judy said...

We know how awesome you are, it just takes our boys a bit to realize that. I am glad it has been boring for him and that he has some fun decorations to cheer him for the holidays.

stregata said...

We have always known you are awesome - but how wonderful for you to hear it from your son! Glad his mission was boring. Sending big hugs to you.

Laura Twiford said...

Boy after a start like dropping out of a helicopter onto a mountain in the middle of the night and rolling until you could stop, boring sounds darn good to me too! I'll be so happy for all of you when he arrives back home and can be fattened up! My nephew arrived home, skinny too, from the gulf on the Truman aircraft carrier yesterday after 7 months. It is good when they come home safely! Merry Christmas you awesome Mom! PS I have a slinky on my desk and bought one for my son's desk too!

Barbara Lewis said...

That is so great that you knew exactly what to send your son! In tune with each other from the beginning. I hope you'll be giving him a big hug before you know it. Love to you and your family! xo

sharon said...

I am sure that you are always awesome LeAnn, and so is your son. How special to see his tiny corner of love, and how you have made it special for him.
My prayers continue for all of you...have a beautiful holiday!

Pretty Things said...

Don't remember if you know that both my husband and I are veterans. My husband was in Bosnia, Iraq, and then in Special Ops, and I don't know where he went with that.

I adopted a bunch of girls in an Army troop near the border a couple of years ago, and it was an uplifting experience to send them what others would think would be the strangest things (beach towels -- the issued towels, as I WELL remembered, are TIIIIIINY) and I know that a lot of Starbucks places are sending their new instant coffee over.

My thoughts are with you and your son and your family. Can't wait until he's home safe for good.

Joan Tucker said...

Le Ann, all I can say and it comes from experience with this painful kind of separation; soon he will be home and you will be able to breathe.
Enjoy his new wife and daughter and best wishes and blessings for the new year, Joan Tucker, Off Center Productions