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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Jeff's Afghan Diary
Not long ago I received an email from Jeff Courter, a member of the Illinois National Guard, now serving in Afghanistan. Jeff volunteered to share his wartime experiences in the form of a diary, which I've agreed to publish here. Jeff sees his service to this country as a journey of spiritual discovery. I invite you to share the journey with Jeff. And once you've sampled his writing, leave a comment for Jeff below.

The Latest from Jeff: A Prayer of Thanksgiving

Also: Firefight


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone close to me is in the Illinois National Guard, has a young family, and may go to Afghanistan next year, so as I read this, I know what we may all be going thru. It breaks my heart that it must be like this, but I support you no matter what. I will continue to read your posts with much interest. God Bless You and your family.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Brad Buchanan said...

Hi Jeff -- Just a quick note to wish you the best of luck on your journey. I am from mid-Missouri, within a year of being the same age as you, with a wife and 3 kids, and a member of the Presbyterian church, and I cannot imagine being uprooted and sent around the world, even for the most righteous of causes. While I have never served in the military, I understand that the freedoms we hold so dear in this country do not come free. And you are on your way to Afghanistan to make an installment payment on behalf of all Americans. Thank you for your willingness to serve, and for the enlightened perspective you have adopted. From an old Missouri boy to a new Illinois friend, keep your powder dry, don't take any wooden Afghan nickels, and don't drink any pond water. Until you are once again home safe with your wife and family, may God hold you in the palm of His hand. Sincerely, Brad Buchanan

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Andrea Mraz said...

I read your last entry as of January 14th, I do believe, and I am saying to myself, "Where'd Jeff go!?", practically shaking the computer monitor, in frustration. You have given me a wonderful glimpse into the mind of my quiet brother in law that was called up right after 9/11, I was on the end of calling sister in law everyday. He kept a silent courage about going, just as you have. Thank you for that gift of a glimpse.
This time after the days of 9/11 a majority of the people that I talk to are confused about this debacle and have differing opinions....imagine that. But know this Jeff and spread the news far and wide to your comrades in arms, we are behind you, the soldiers, no matter what political stance a person is, there is unification for the supporting of the soldiers safe return and happiness. So when you are there doing your job and you have down time and your mind starts to wander and think, "What does the average Jane and Joe care about us?" The world my friend, the world. The media just won't give us the air time. Sorry weird humor.
Embrace the sense of humor that you are using to cope as you have alluded to in one of your entries, to be able to make another person laugh in the downtimes, to lift their spirits, spread joy, a gift from God amongst the hell that you may be going through.
I could ramble on but, I am sure that my letter, already, has possibly made you buggy eyed. Thank you for taking time out to bless us with your experiences and God bless you and the people that you come in contact with.


11:56 PM  
Anonymous Barb Morgan said...

Jeff, this is the first time I was able to reach your page, and I read every single one of your articles. It was like talking to you again. I really enjoyed them. We all miss you a lot and continue to pray for you. Now that I've finally reached your page on the website, I'll keep track of your activities. Sunday School is not the same -- I don't even go to the class, because they're seeing a film on politics, and that isn't what Sunday School is supposed to be. We look forward to when you'll be back, as I know your family does, too.
Barb Morgan

7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,
It's Carol Wiborg and I'm not quite sure why this is coming up in German on my screen. I have just finished rereading all of your diary entries from beginning to end in one sitting. Thank you so much for sharing your first hand impressions with us. My understanding of the middle east is ever increasing. Of course, the military side was fairly in tact after 28 years with the DoD Schools. I saw your daughters on Sunday. They were at church. Just know that you and all of the military are in my prayers.

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Scott Bibler said...

Hello Jeff,
I was at waza from Aug 05 to Jan 06, (KBR). When I hit the ground, both dwo cina and terwa had tents only. There was no way for me to get out to them, but I had the inane idea that pre-fabbed ice fishing shanties would give the squads some relief from the elements. That's how your little J-huts came to be. I'm home now after 27 months. My family and I are grateful for all that you folks do for us and our way of life. Working with the troops was the greatest privilege I've ever had. Godspeed to all of you and thank you for your service.
Yours, Scott Bibler

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I enjoy your postings immensely. My son is stationed at Doa China with the 82nd Airborne and we hear very little. Please continue your updates - it has been too long since your last one.

Dave Kulfan

11:24 PM  
Anonymous Keith Gould said...


I was forwarded a email from my sister Wendy. The email came from My older brother Craig Gould. I havent sponken to either of my two brothers in years, Craig or Kerry (Captin Kirk). I read a few of your journals and I was in aww to see what was going on.
You don't know me, but my name is Keith Gould.
Please do me a favor if you have the time, tell Kerry that I said hi, and I just want him to know that I'm proud that he has left for his country. Can you give him my email?
If it is possible for him to get intouch with me. I hope so.

Thanks and good luck with everything.

Keith Gould

9:23 PM  
Anonymous <a href="">Xanax</a> said...

1XNpGw Very good blog! Thanks!

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I spoke with my son last week and I asked about you and he said you were gone. I don't know if you have made it back home or not, but I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas. Thank you so much for your words which brought me closer to my son in Doa China. Thank you also for your service to our country. Good luck to you! I would love to hear about your transition and homecoming in your blog.
Thank you again,

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff -
I was "googling" my name and ran across your bio -- Though we don't look very similar, I did grow up in Deerfield,Illinois and knew of a scant few it is not a very common name. I went to Deerfield High School with Fred Courter, and also knew Dave, Craig and Debbie Courter. I beleive they lived near Fox River Grove, IL.
My parents were from New Jersey --Montclair and Verona. It would be interesting to know if we had any common roots.
I appreciate what you are doing over there. I was never involved with the armed services, but I do love our country -- and am blessed to know that you guys have our backs. I now have your's covered --in prayer and support.
Write back and we'll converse over family tree possibilities... I'm on a breif vacation with my family next week -- but I'll get back to you.
I live in Conyers, GA -- Married to Nancy, have three sons; Dave 21, Casey 17 and Michael 11.

Jeff Courter
General Manager
Walton/Stout, Inc.
6863 Chapman Road
Lithonia, GA 30058
Phone: 1-800-822-8633
Direct: 770-482-4613 Ext 244
Fax: 770-482-9894

6:36 PM  
Blogger Jeff Courter said...

Hi Jeff -
I was "googling" Jeff Courter and happened upon the GodWeb link and another "Jeff Courter". I am also from Illinois. I graduated from Deerfield High School in 1973. My family and I now live in Conyers, GA.
I have three sons; Dave 21, Casey 17, and Michael 11. We are heavily involved in our church; My wife and I are both ordained pastors with "Church In the Now" in Conyers, GA.
This is a multi-cultural non-denominational "phenomenon" that was the place of praise & worship and teaching excellence that I have longed for - all of my life.

Since Courter is not a very common name, I am curious if we may have some common ancestry in the not so distant past? In Illinois I went to High School with a Fred Courter and also knew of a Dave, Debbie and Craig Courter who lived somewhere near Fox River Grove or Cary (I don't recall). My parents were originally from New Jersey -- Mom from Montclair and Dad from Verona. Perhaps we can compare notes and see who/where our ancestry crossed paths...? Likely so.
I appreciate what you guys are doing over there. I was not a part of the armed services myself, but I hold great admiration and respect for those of you who are our protectors of all that we cherish. Thank you! You have our backs - and now we have yours!
-Jeff Courter!

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with others. I have a son who arrived in Afghanistan 10 days ago with the US Army and I have appreciated your story.

2:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with others. I have a son who arrived in Afghanistan 10 days ago with the US Army and I have appreciated your story.

2:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The author of has written an excellent article. You have made your point and there is not much to argue about. It is like the following universal truth that you can not argue with: Big turds are both a blessing and a curse. Despite the initial discomfort, you feel immensely proud of it, only to realise that it would never be right to share this with anyone. The intensity of the pride/shame dilemma is in direct proportion to how much is above water. Thanks for the info.

10:15 PM  

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