It was a nice slow low key day here at Camp Spann. The almost continuous winter clouds did not open up and rain today. I did a tiny bit of work today(for those who are going to deploy, pay attention to when your Information Assurance certificate runs out, it took me three hours with our slow connection here to finish it, and had to print it off today.)
Thanksgiving Day has been celebrated usually on the 4th Thursday in November since the time of Abraham Lincoln. In retrospect we have much more to be thankful for these days then they had in 1863. While our country is not at peace, we are not at war among ourselves. In fact we are trying to assist a country under the assault of terrorists. We think of it as a family time. I am sure that many a soldier was away from his family in 1863 though. We are a nation that is truly blessed, and while we should thank God every day, it is fitting that we set aside a special day as a nation to thank Him.
First there was the food at the Chow Hall. Like many facilities here on camp, it is run by the contractor Kellog Brown and Root(KBR). While KBR and other companies like Hallyburton have had their reputations besmirched during the last 8 years of conflict, I must say they put on a nice Thanksgiving Day meal. Pictured is my Supper tray, which was very similar to my Lunch tray(I basically came back for seconds in a few hours). The turkey was good and juicy, The stuffing was very good and I got to drench it with lots of gravy. I had mashed potatoes and shrimp cocktail. I have taken a liking to collard greens since our chow hall caters to the leading unit here, which is from Georgia. I had Welch's sparkling grape juice(known as King and Queen juice to my kids) for lunch and the more traditional mixture of Sprite/7up and cranberry juice for Supper. It was funny watching some of our European allies. Their eyes lit up as they saw the bottles on the table, only to turn to a frown as they realized it was not wine. There was pumpkin pie, ice cream and cake available for dessert.
The Church Service was after supper. We had about 2 dozen faithful attend. Represented were all three US services deployed here, US contractors and allies from Norway, Croatia and Sweden.
There was even a very nice piece of special music from an irregular quartet of US, Croatian and Norway mixture. The singing and fellowship was good. It felt altogether right to attend a service on Thanksgiving Day.
Finally we come to Eid. The Afghans have started a Holiday as well; Eid e Qurban قربان عيد
This is known as the Eid of Sacrifice. It commemorates Abraham's offer of sacrifice of his son Ishmael from his second wife Hagar according to Muslim beliefs. It starts with the end of the Hajj حجto Mecca(tomorrow). Most Afghan businesses and nonessential government work has stopped. It lasts about 4 days, so I really don't plan on hearing from my counterparts or interpreter until monday or tuesday. That's alright since I will need to spend a little more time in the gym to work off the excesses of today.
I am also most Thankful for those of you at home who support me here, or have had to double up and do the duties and tasks I would do if I were there.