Thursday, June 28, 2012

Echoes from a Sacred Space at FOB Frontenac, Afghanistan

The enclosed info was something I had seen back in early 2010 when I was doing a bit of FOB-Hopping around Afghanistan. I came across it in some notes I had rediscovered.

What I had witnessed at FOB FRONTENAC - The name comes from Fort Frontenac, a French fort and trading post located in what is now Kingston, Ontario

– I went there on a two day helicopter hop from hell.  I was there to do a town hall meeting and see if any of their staff would work for the company I was working with at the time.  I had wrenched the crap outta my arm getting off a helo about three weeks earlier and it was killing me.
The Pain was an " 11 " on the scale of  1-10 as I managed to have two tendons pop off the bone in my right arm in the process of getting blown off my feet by prop wash from a helo.

Needless to say, I was not a happy camper.  Then, I saw something that put it all in perspective.  Here are my notes from back then.  I am still in awe of what was on this FOB out in the middle of nowhere in Afghanistan.  Here's what I had written in 2010:


The picture directly below is from Micheal Yon's report on this Sacred Space -- the others enclosed are the ones I took while I was there.

Enclosed are pictures from Camp Frontenac - a small FOB about 20 miles north of Kandahar...I took a hop there over the last week to do a meet n' greet with some potential new employees from another company. Middleboro Jones riding our company helicopters to get there and then getting stuck there for a day as there were no flights back that day....The next day, I caught a hop back to Kandahar with the Special Forces guys in a helicopter with no lettering or markings on it....if you want to get to where you need to go here, sometimes you have to just go with the questions asked.

Next to the Chapel, the Chaplain has erected a teepee which holds the pictures of the 21 soldiers lost from the 1-17, the Buffalo Brigade - to see this beautiful sacred space in the midst of all the harshness of the environment here is something beyond words. I stepped into the teepee and viewed the pictures and said a prayer.

There are moments of ultimate beauty here in a harsh landscape, and moments of incredible clarity - seeing how precious life really is.....It is something that is lost on most us during our day-to-day existence. We lose sight of what is really important, and how quickly it can be taken from us if we are not careful.

A prayer for the Brave Buffalo Soldiers and one of thankfulness for all that the LORD has provided to me. I am truly blessed and I was grateful for the reminder.


Bob Esser said...

I never could bring myself to take pictures of this place, but I'm glad you did. Thank you. -Bob E

Middleboro Jones said...

Bob - I felt that the memory and unbelievable grace of what was there shouldn't be lost. This Sacred Space meant alot to their fellow soldiers and to them.

Thanks for commenting. Hope you are well and thanks for your service.