Take a second to think about any neighbors, friends, or relatives that are serving our country on foreign soil right now. We're sure that they will appreciate it, and we all owe them a lot.
We thought we'd share a few letters from some guys that are toughing it out away from family and friends. We really appreciate all the letters that are sent in, and the time that is taken to show us some of the behind-the-scenes shots of foreign affairs. Thanks again for everything, guys.
Big bad beasts
I have been pretty busy but I was able to take a few pictures of some of the stuff around here. The funny thing is that I just got the new magazine and saw an interesting picture. It was from a soldier in the eastern part of Afghanistan. However, I had taken a picture of a cannon that is just a little bigger. It is the German-made Panzer Howitzer, which is also a 155mm cannon. The second is a picture of a Danish vehicle called the Bushmaster. I don't know anything about it other than it is a troop carrier and it looked cool and needed to have a license plate on it. The third vehicle that I took a picture of is called the Buffalo. It is used in the hunt for IEDs. There is nothing quite like that to scream at you and say "Big bad American!!!" quite like that truck. I hope you enjoy the pictures. I am having a blast putting plates on some of the best off-road vehicles that I can find here in southern Afghanistan.
Michigan Trained for an Afghanistan winter
My name is Spc. Benjamin Fleming from Sagola, Michigan, currently deployed to Sharona, Afghanistan, with a platoon of combat engineers doing infantry work for the Michigan Army National Guard. We all are from the upper peninsula of Michigan and we have been in Afghanistan for eight months and can get pretty bored. We are huge fans of your magazine and we read every issue you publish. Here are some pics of one of our 1114 up-armor Humvees stuck. The individual driving that day was Spc. Larson from Calumet, Michigan, and I was the one that had to pull him out. The gunner is Spc. Bean from Houghton, Michigan. Let's just say that 13,000 pounds of up-armor steel and 3 inches of ice do not mix very well. We would appreciate it if you put this in the Whoops! section of your magazine. Thank you for supporting the troops and producing an awesome magazine that everyone enjoys. Thank you.
Spc. Benjamin Fleming and Spc. David Larson
Hi, my name is Jessie London and I am currently with the Army in Iraq serving my tour of duty. I have been here for a little over five months and already have some great pictures of military vehicles stuck. Hopefully more to come.
This is my crew, Sgt. London, Spc. Markmeier, and Spc. Lueninghoener, along with Sgt. Cole and Cpl. Olson pulling out two Air Force guys that got bored one night and decided to go off-roading in the Iraq mud. As you can see, they didn't make it all the way through. Unfortunately we got another of our M1114s stuck trying to pull out the Chevy truck which, if you noticed, made it farther than the Hummer they brought to pull out the Chevy. After about an hour of work and a lot of laughs, we got them out with our winch.
This is the team we replaced. The story goes that the bridge was out and they tried to go around through a creek. As you can see they buried themselves in the mud because 8,000 pounds of armor doesn't go very far in the slick mud. A couple winches later and help from some Iraqis they got out and were on their way.
My crew and Lt. Smith, Sgt. Donner, and Sgt. Nixon pulling out some Marine 7-ton trucks. At first they got a Hummer stuck and I told them we had a winch but they must not have listened, because they sent in the first 7-ton and got that stuck. Again, I told them we had winches, but I must not have been speaking loudly enough because they sent in another 7-ton that also got stuck. They called for a wrecker and then I told them one last time about the winches we had and they acted surprised that I didn't tell them sooner. So with our two 1114 Hummers we pulled out one 7-ton, and then the wrecker arrived, only to get stuck messing around. So the 7-ton we pulled out pulled out the wrecker and we pulled out the stuck Marine Hummer. The wrecker pulled out the second 7-ton and we were on our way. Sorry I didn't have my 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine with me; I always bring it with me now so if the opportunity arises I can snag a photo of us with the magazine. Thanks for the great magazine.Jessie London
My buddies and I love your mag. I was a crew chief for an AAV in the Marine Corps and here are some Whoops! pics from Delta Company 1st Platoon 3rd AABN over the course of a year. We managed to find some of the craziest terrain an Amphibious Assault Vehicle could handle. Here's us in:
Keep up the good work!