Budgets and Coffins
Today was a bad one – so many things happening all at once and I’m feeling the pressure. I feel a bit like a spinning top and am experiencing that classic loneliness of command in that I have no-one I can vent to or confide in. I have to stay cool and in control, keep a smile on my face and boost the rest of the lads when they are feeling the pressure. It’s bloody hard to do some days.
A BBIED (suicide bomber) walked into the middle of one of my convoys today, stuck in traffic on Route 1, and detonated. One guard KIA, 4 WIA (seriously). Not long after, a truck on another convoy tripped an IED – damaged vehicle, nil injuries – and my guard force travelling from here to Ghazni were contacted by fairly heavy small arms fire – thankfully, no injuries. The Int picture is building toward an inescapable conclusion: the Taliban are significantly stepping up operations against ISAF contracted convoys, probably as a precursor to a determined stance against the expected ISAF offensive here in Kandahar in June.
As this was all happening I was scratching my head on a budget reconciliation. The whole exercise seemed kind of pointless to me given what was happening on the ground, and I found myself contemplating the budget line item simply titled ‘Coffins’.
ANZAC Day today. No time to sit and ponder the meaning of the day as I have done every ANZAC Day for as long as I can remember. Just too busy. We did, however, manage to get out of the Ops Room for a bit of 7.62mm therapy in the form of an instinctive shooting practice. Much hilarity and ribbing among the lads as the competitive sprit set in and a bit of cash rode on the results. I lost my money.
I’m thinking a lot about home and L and the kids. I miss them terribly and worry how they are coping without me.