Friday, September 5, 2008

Soldier Guest Blogger: SSG Kim

Today's post and accompanying photos are provided by our Kosovo correspondent, SSG Kim. Her message and photos took my breath away. I hope they do yours, also.

Hello to all my dear friends,

I apologize for not writing sooner, however the amount of work to be done is endless here. As soon as we can assist one person, or problem, ten more arise, and I don’t have the heart or ability to turn away from any of them. There is no doubt in my mind that God has placed me here, at this time, to do his work. I am grateful for that every night when I lay my head down to sleep.

I wish you could all see this place, and understand the suffering that continues here. However, these people have a tenacity, and a love for life that somehow maintains them. Many times I have heard how some child wants to grow up to be an American Soldier. Not a British, or French or anything else…an American Soldier. Because we volunteer to come here to help them and leave our families behind. It’s the greatest way they can think of to honor not only the American Soldier’s, but the American People. When I tell them how I receive boxes full of things for their children from people they don’t know in the States, they are speechless, and tears follow.

You are their hero. I only wish I had the means to convey this to all of you. I am considering staying for another tour. These people and their struggle for freedom, the thing we so easily take for granted, has touched a part of my heart that no one has every touched in this way before. I will keep you all posted. There are days when I just can’t take anymore, and I sit down and have a long cry. God always yanks me up by my ammo belt and reminds me why I’m here.

My Soldiers are thankfully doing well. The younger ones are starting to rotate out on leave for well deserved breaks. There have been children born, parents buried, wives that have left, and so on since we’ve been here. They always seem to pull through. They are and will always be my true heroes. I wish you could see the tears in the eyes of the Soldier who came to show me a picture of his daughter who was born while he was waiting for a plane in the airport to come home. "Hero" is just not a good enough word. They all amaze me, every day.

I miss so many things here though. The smell of my dog’s after they have been swimming. The feel of the grass on my feet. So many things that I will never take for granted again.

I wish all of you the best and please keep us in your prayers. I will try to write soon. Lori has my address if anyone would like to write.


This is how I spent my day off. There is a beanie in each bag. At least half of the stuff in these bags has been sent to me from the United States.

My crew:

Helping a farmer vaccinate his sheep. This one got the best of me!!!

Notice I'm telling the sheep which way to go by pointing. The vet is cracking up...

My favorite school in Ferizaj/Uresovic. All these children are severly handicapped, but they KNOW WHERE I HIDE THE BEANIES IN MY PANTS POCKETS!!!

Yet another stray dog who is sleeping on the sand bags that surround
the site where Milochovic gave the infamous speech of 1989.

Caught crying during a MEDCAP, medical treatment for the most needy, somewhere in Kosovo. There are times such as this, when I just can't play the hard core Soldier any longer. Next to me is my wonderful Serbian interpreter, Davor.

Handing out school supplies and beanies in Novo Brdo, a VERY poor area of KOSOVO:

Riots in Mitrovice:

With my Serbian interpreter on the infamous bridge in Mitrovica:

Give it up for SSG Kim. If you want her e-mail address, contact me at