Trooper Rebecca Hazen
15 January 2010
Hello everyone, my name is Trooper Rebecca Hazen. I have been in Afghanistan for just over four months. There has been a high tempo for the Squadron with all the demands for the tanks, and that high tempo has been no exception for me. Originally part of Administration Troop, I am also attached to Squadron Headquarter which has led me to do about 5 different jobs. My primary role is the 2IC’s (Capt Mike Gough) driver, but I have also been out with the Squadron Sergeant Major MWO Tom Holland as a temporary member of his crew. Additionally, I have deployed as an AHSVS driver, working with the infantry on the ground, and working in the T2 CP here in the forward operating base (FOB).
Between all of my tasks, I try to work out as much as possible. The 2IC and I walk up to observation point #3 with all of our kit on in the mornings. It’s a race to the top, and once we get there we so tired there is no breathe left for words. If I get a chance later in the day I like to go to the gym and either work out or box. Upon my arrival there was already a heavy bag in place and gloves for boxing, but no speed bag. The Battle Captain (Capt Peter Beitz) and I share a common interest in boxing and he got a speed bag sent out to him. Between the two of us we managed to build a frame for it, paint it, put it up in the gym and leave our mark on it. For future soldiers of the FOB, you will see it in the gym when you get here. Now there’s a full work out for all boxers.
My most recent experiences outside the FOB were working with the Infantry. Being one of two females in our location, I was asked to help out with the searching of local women when necessary. It was interesting to say the least, interacting with the locals and seeing parts of their culture first hand. When we searched the females we had several different reactions, some were crying, some gave us attitude and some just went with the flow. The younger females (ages 12-18) were beautiful and very well dressed under the burkas. We met one group of people who were on their way to the wedding, all the women, including the children had their brightest clothes on, colourful scarf’s, jewellery, earrings, beaded bracelets and henna on their hands and feet. Many of the children were wearing make up to, there was this one girl (about 5) who had more eye liner on than I’ve ever worn in my entire life combined! In some of the families that came through, many of the children were sick and had chest colds. Already it gets down to about -10 at night, and imagine not having shoes or a jacket to put on. We had one older woman who told us that we were dangerous people, which was a very frustrating thing to hear when you are just doing your job and are trying to help.
We also saw some interesting things and people who come through. This included an Afghan little person who carried a little bird in a woven cloth bag. We had several vehicles that had chickens in it. And in one van there was about 10 people in it, and also a full sized goat! It amazes me how many people the Afghanis can fit into one car, or on the back of one van. I don’t know how they do it.
I also recently got to drive through Kandahar City. This was another interesting experience to say the least. It’s big, busy, people everywhere, cars everywhere and markets everywhere. It seems like everyone is trying to sell the same things in the markets. Driving through the markets, around people, cars and jingle trucks made it a challenging drive. A very tight fit for the truck I was operating.
Over all I had an awesome time on the ground with the infantry and interacting with the locals. However, nothing makes me happier than driving a tank. I have enjoyed my time here so far, and look forward to future things I may encounter in my remaining time here.
Thanks for reading. Hello to all of the families and friends at home, we will see everyone soon.
Trooper Rebecca Hazen