From the Front

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Name: Maj Jeff Elliott
Deployed unit: 1st Battalion 503rd Parachute Infantry Division
Home unit: 28th Test & Evaluation Squadron
Job description: Battalion EWO

What will you remember about your deployment 20 years from now? The people I work with on a daily basis. The Warlock contractor, Donnie, the other EWO on base, "Rone", and all the people I work with in the TOC. (Tactical operations center) Oh, and the living conditions here, and the burn-out toilets.

What's the most useful item you packed? Laptop, I actually have an internet connection in my room.

What do you wish you had packed? More money! No ATM or check cashing here, but the BX has 7 items to buy, so not too much of a need for cash lately.

When did you realize you "weren't in Kansas anymore;" aka your "Dorothy" moment? The time I saw my friend and Task Force team member leave on a MEDEVAC after he ran over a pressure plate IED and mangled his legs.

What's the best part of the deployment? Taking part in the Counter RCIED fight against the Taliban, and seeing the results of my work saving people's lives.

The worst part? Being away from family and friends and seeing people I know get their Purple Heart.

What new survival skill have you learned? I learned to create my own IED, using D-cell batteries and a few acquired parts. It actually works!

What do you do during down time? What down time! I have managed to watch a few movies on my laptop, one week after they were released in theaters (Harry Potter and Fantastic Four Silver Surfer so far).

What is the first thing you will do and eat when you return? Take the boat out and wakeboard, yes, even in December, eat some fresh seafood, and have a large bowl of ice cream.