Thanks for the update, B. Obviously you don't have a lot of time to spend
on this A2K stuff. If you get a chance though, I'd like to get your
impressions on how the Pakistanis in that area view the U.S. We'd all like
to believe that this aid is winning "hearts and minds", but in reality, I'm
sure that that's not always the case.
Thanks for the question George. From what I can tell the locals are very thankful. When I first got here I was getting my hand shaked by every local I met on the base. The Air Crew that I talk to say the people are happy that we are bringing them supplies and such. We not only bring in supplies but we also take injured out of the area as well as move others to evac zones. Some of the people are desperate to leave but we can only take so many with us. I know there have been some who have just wanted to ride on the helicopter for the hell of it. There have been a few times when the air crews have had to just about push people off of the air craft but then has happened very few times. Over all it seems to be a positive mission for all involved.
On a personal note we finale got hot water for the showers yesterday but the food is still the same. Every meal has rice and French fries pardon me freedom fries. I think when I finale get home I won't eat a fry for months let alone rice.
Here in the States we're being told that while money is pledged for earthquake relief, the agencies in the disaster area need hard cash, not pledges, or tens of thousands of Pakastanis will lack food and shelter this winter.
How bad is the concrete compassion shortage?
Being low man on the totem pole I don't know the whole situation. I do know that there are over a dozen helicopters here at the base I'm at and we have been sending almost all of them out every day. We can carry about 25,000 pounds per bird so we are moving lots of stuff. Including food blankets and I think I have even seen some cloths. I do know that the area that I'm at it is still very warm during the day say about 85 or 90 and at night it drops down to about 40 or so. I have been told that the weather is going to start changing in the next few weeks. From what I have seen and been told we are doing better then the locals had hoped for as long as we have been here. I know I will be here till about the time I was supposed to be in Afghanistan so couple more months. We will be flying mission's everyday and providing what help we can.
On the note of compassion. It runs high were we are at. Every night the crews come home and you can see the looks in their faces. They would like to help more but we are only allowed to fly during the day time. We have rules we have to follow from the locals when it comes to our flying and the amount of time and time of day when we are allowed to be out. Over all it seems to be working but I know we have people who wish we could do more.