An occasional series of chats with one of our troops.
Sgt. Chris Lindahl
Hometown: Royal, Iowa / Age: 29 / Iowa National Guard, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 334th Brigade Support Battalion, Bravo Company
Q: How’s the deployment going for you?
A: It’s pretty good, kind of monotonous, but other than that, we stay real busy. Time is flying by, so it’s pretty decent.
This is my second deployment. In ‘04 and ‘05, I was in Iraq for a year (in maintenance). I was in a different kind of unit . . . and we supported ourselves whereas this is a maintenance unit for the whole entire brigade. We would go out on convoys and provide support on the road and everything else, but here we just mainly work in the shop, and they bring it to us. . . . Same job. I just got out a lot more.
Q: You said you’re from Norfolk originally. Are you a Nebraska fan? What’s it like being with all of these Iowans?
A: Absolutely. Not an Iowa fan, for sure. Most of these guys are from the Cedar Rapids area, which is right by Iowa City, so must of them are Iowa fans. And then Nebraska’s going to the Big Ten next year, so we (exchange) a lot of words.
It was sometimes kind of tough during football season, but Iowa wasn’t very good this year. It was pretty easy to give people a lot of grief about it.
Q: How is working on these vehicles?
A: I don’t think there’s anyone here, other than a few guys who went to some schools back in the States, who has ever worked on these vehicles. We got a little bit of exposure to them when we started mobilizing, but . . . we didn’t really know them very well.
The trucks are pretty complicated as far as they’re cutting edge. Everything’s computerized, electronic, so there’s a bit of a learning curve on that, and then of course, with all the up-armor on everything, everything’s up-armored, so on some trucks, it can be hard to get into them to work.
The roads here in Afghanistan are way Third World. There’s no roads.
Q: Has anything surprised you about this deployment?
A: Not really much. There’s some good things, like for instance, the Internet access we have here. I mean, we have to pay for it, but it’s pretty decent. I can talk to my family every day on the Internet with Skype or whatever, so that’s pretty surprising. Other than that, it’s nothing I haven’t seen before.
Q: What are you looking forward to when you go home?
A: I can’t wait to see my wife (Bonnie) and kids (Lilli, 6, Madison, 4, Gunner, 3). . . . I’ve been missing them like crazy. I haven’t seen my kids in 245 days. My wife came to see me in Mississippi before we left, but I haven’t seen my kids in a while, so I’m really looking forward to that. I actually go on leave in about five weeks. I’m looking forward to that, to seeing my kids, seeing something that’s green. Grass, green grass, and not having dust blowing everywhere. That’s something I’m excited about.
The first thing I’m going to do is get a fishing license and take them fishing. I think we’re going to go to Omaha and go to the Henry Doorly Zoo, maybe see a baseball game or something.