DS, OIF, OND, OEF Reunion / Education Night:
As the sun set on this beautiful October evening, memories came to life…….
“When the rockets would come in, we would dive under the ping pong table, like that is going to protect us!” remembers David Roseth, who served in Afghanistan from September 2006 to January 2007, with the National Guard. David is a 23 yr. veteran, serving with the U.S. Air Force for 6 years then joining the National Guard.
While in Afghanistan David and his fellow troops controlled the skies for military aircraft and when a fire fight would occur they would monitor the air space for rockets and missiles.
After they arrived in 2006 things ramped up, the fire fights and such doubled from summer to fall that year. Normally the Taliban fought April – October, then the snows would come and they would return to their villages, but this year the fighting continued until December.
Dave said he was in the S/W Desert region, where temperatures were 100-110 degrees F. with a 5% humidity. If you were outside and did not have something on your lips or ears to protect them they would be burnt, dried out and cracked within 4 -5 hours. They worked 12 hour shifts; he worked the night shift, thankful for that as he didn’t have to suffer the unbearable heat of the day.
He remembers that normally they would get 2 inches of rain a year where he was, but one day in November they got 6 inches of rain in 12 hours, it was a muddy mess.
David also remembers the snow storm of December 7th. He said this stays in his memory because that day the only thing flying was a Dutch AF group out for resupplying in a huge Russian helicopter. They had them on radar for about 15 miles then lost them, only to find out they had flown into the side of a mountain, because of lack of visibility. All 8 aboard perished.
David’s #1 goal was to bring the seven guys working for him home, mission accomplished!
In 2009 David was sent back to Afghanistan to move all their equipment out of Afghanistan to Qatahr. During this tour the Afghan elections were taking place as well as the elections in Iran, so there was a lot going on, June & July were very tense months.
He remembers getting in trouble for placing a Green Bay Packer helmet magnet, sent to them from home, on their Humvee…..”Unauthorized to be on a military vehicle”.
He said the weather here was worse than Afghanistan, 120 degrees F., very humid and very windy, and FOG. Remember the movie Fog? Just as think and eerie when it would roll in.
The Canadians built a hockey rink ( no ice just cement) and they all formed teams. David said “I was a hockey star on TV” then chuckles, Canadian TV would air there games.
David’s unit is being sent back to Afghanistan in November for maintenance and repair of equipment, David does not have to join them this time. David along with all of us here at The Highground wish his unit a safe mission and a speedy return home.
Scott Kissinger served with the Reserves from 1988 – 1992. He remembers being a sophomore at UW Madison, when he was called up. It was finals time and all but one of his professors was willing to work with him. Telling his parents was hard, to put it mildly his Mom was not excited….but they were both very supportive.
Scott was activated in December with the 44th General Hospital out of Madison. They flew out in January from Volk Field. Arrived in Germany where their large unit was separated all over Germany. Scott ended up in Heidelberg, Germany where he was in charge of keeping track of US Army injured. He never went to the Gulf; they kept him in Germany his whole tour.
“It was an OK experience” Scott said, except for when I had to have a wisdom tooth pulled, that was scary. “I couldn’t believe it when the doc walked in with a wooden mallet and a chisel; I thought he must be joking. NO he was not, that is exactly what he used to remove my tooth”. “That was twenty some years ago but still, I did not think things were still that primitive”. So just remember how lucky we are to have the dentistry we have here in America.