Kabul from above

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Invictus, William Ernest Henley

Continue reading “NATC-A Nine // 27 April 2011 // Kabul, Afghanistan”

NATC-A Nine // 27 April 2011 // Kabul, Afghanistan

i’m not afraid

For though from out our bourn of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.
-Lord Alfred Tennyson
Lt. Col. Mark “Kojak” Reents, NATO Air Training Command Afghanistan adviser delivers the eulogy for the fallen nine.

At approximately 1025 hours on 27 April 2011 nine U.S. troops were killed by a “veteran Afghan military pilot” in Kabul.

It’s one of those things you dread hearing about when you have a loved one downrange. “The ‘Stan” is how they often refer to it. Every day you check the news feeds scanning, re-scanning and waiting for your daily “I’m good” email.

Then it comes.

Continue reading “i’m not afraid”