from the front

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Name: Staff Sgt. Eric Lundquist
Deployed unit: 4th BCT HHC 82nd Airborne Div.
Home unit: 81st Range Control Sq.
Job description: Embedded Trainer to the Afghan National Army (ANA)

What will you remember about your deployment 20 years from now? 
How I was able to help mold the ANA into a self-sustained fighting force.

What's the most useful item you packed? 
Gold Bond Medicated Powder is the most useful item I packed. Sometimes you may go with out a shower for several days and the powder makes up for that (covers the smell).

What do you wish you had packed? 
More pictures of my wife and son.

When did you realize you "weren't in Kansas anymore;" aka your "Dorothy" moment? Well, actually I was in Kansas for three months of infantry training. However, I guess it was when I sat down to eat dinner with the ANA and realized they do not use utensils, just their hands to eat chow.

What's the best part of the deployment?
Steak with lobster tails on Friday nights at Forward Operating Base Salerno and if you ask nice, they let you fire counter mortar fire at enemy POO (Point of Origin) sites.

The worst part? 
The worst part about the deployment is lack of personal space. You work, eat, and sleep close to everyone you work with. I wish I could get in my car and just go for a drive.
What new survival skill have you learned?
Always take a package of Imodium Anti-Diarrhea medication wherever you go. The crud will creep up on you when you least expect it and at the worst possible time.

What do you do during down time? 
I work seven days a week usually 14-15 hour days, so I am normally sleeping during my down time.

What is the first thing you will do and eat when you return? 
I will give my five-year-old son and my wife a big hug and we will go to the closest Mexican restaurant for dinner.