17 days down, about 90 to go :) I’m in Afghanistan enjoying the taste of the fine dust of Urganzan and the scenic mountains which surround to create the Tarin Kowt bowl. After 4 long months of training, I’m finally here and I’ve settled in. It feels like a dusty version of barracks. The cold has started but the mountains are still bare and once the sun rises above the dust horizon it is actually quite pleasant. In my short time here I’ve got myself one wary (war story).

Just prior to my shift in the commcen, I got a nose bleed and after a couple of minutes of feeling dizzy I collapsed in front of all the Charlies. The Charlies nursed me until the doctor arrived and I spent the night hooked up to an IV drip at the yank hospital 100 meters from where I sleep. Because I was technically a transfer I was classified as a casualty and as such notice of casualty (noticas) paperwork needed to be drawn up requiring me to inform my next of kin. Some blood tests revealed that I was a dehydrated which was a massive relief because it gave me a good excuse as to why I had fainted. The truth of the matter is, I don’t do so well with the sight of my own blood. Needless to say the dehydration option still didn’t satisfy everyone and I have been copping my fair share of flack :) But at least they don’t know the truth.

For the last 4 months I’ve been living in Randwick Barracks. It’s been great, $10 cab ride to Coogee, $20 to the city and I’ve made the most of it with the help from my army mates. With not much else to spend my money on, partying was a good option. PT every morning as improved my fitness and I’ve continued to get PBs in my fitness tests. It was difficult at first fitting into the new unit. Going from an Army Reserve unit into a full time special forces unit took some adjusting. There were a lot of pissing contests which I didn’t want to be involved in. SF units defiantly have their fair share of insecure men. I found that out on my second day when I was told quite forcibly by two senior people to stop bringing my tea cup in because it’s gay. Now that I’ve established myself I am more able to be me. After about a month I bought my Ukulele but I will still keep that cup away from the shooters.

I need to chill out before I start shift, now that I’ve started this journal it will be easier to keep :)