Monday, July 4, 2011

A soldier speaks

SI's Peter King is on vacation, so Sgt. Mike McGuire gets to talk football and his work in Afghanistan in a special Monday Morning Quarterback.
King has been updating readers on McGuire's work since 2005.
Our company's job has changed some over the years. We used to primarily clear the roads for coalition forces by looking for and disarming IEDs -- and many of our soldiers still do -- but now, every day is a new mission for us. Peter asked me to describe an average day and to tell you what we do, so here goes. We get up about 5:30 a.m. We check on the progress with a local dam project. We assist local health clinics. We provide humanitarian aid. Some of our platoons assist the Afghan Army and teach them how to function as an army on their own. We are involved in digging wells for water, or building dams to help with crops, even with a pistachio farm. Normal missions for us now also have us engaging with elders, police chiefs, security, local governors and school superintendants. It used to be we had minimal contact with the local people unless it was in a bad way. Now we train and educate them. Beats the hell out of being shot at or blown up.

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