Tea Party with Helmets

April 2009, deep in the KG Pass, Shwak district, Paktya province.

I’ve always liked this picture and have been thinking about reasons to post it for a while.  It shows me in consultation with ANA and American leaders in a pleasant grove in springtime in Shwak district, Paktya province.  Shwak was in the heart of the heart of the Khowst-Gardez Pass, a good five hours from Camp Clark by vehicle over treacherous, war-torn mountain roads.  A rationale to post came about a week ago when I met a young Army officer who had spent a year in Shwak district as the commander of COP Dicey,  a small US Army installation located about a mile from where this photograph was taken.

The officer served at Dicey after I was there, and so we didn’t know each other before, but when you meet another American who’s been to Schwak, you don’t miss a chance to compare notes.  And so we did, into the night, all his stories, all mine, all his questions, all mine.


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