While we were all out at Dew Tour and Interbike the past few weeks Brian Kachinsky was busy filling his blog with photos and stories from his recent trip to Iraq to put on demos for our troops. Last night I finally got time to read all five of BK’s blog entries, and I’m really glad I did. If you want a completely different outlook on traveling with your friends and bike, click over there and start reading.
Thanks a ton to Brian for taking the time to share his photos and experiences. And thanks to all our troops around the world who continue to put their life on the line day in and day out so we can ride in peace over here in the States.
It’s a lot to read, but well worth it. However, if you are too lazy to read it all or just want a quick overview, here are a few photos and quotes from the blogs…
“The plane was both barebones but also hi-tech at the same time. This thing wasn't built for comfort but strictly for function. They are loud, uncomfortable, huge and unlike any airplane i'd ever been in before. We filed in tight and sat facing each other on a row of nets. After buckling in I took a look around and saw I was surrounded by friends and soldiers, no smiles in site.”
“We then went back inside where we sat amongst dozens of soldiers who were going off to fight in Iraq. The mood inside was somber, the dimly lit waiting room was filled with soldiers who are heading straight into a war zone. I couldn't help but feel a bit depressed and humbled when I saw the looks on the soldiers faces.”
“The show was a hit and after all the autographs, photos, high fives and handshakes I found myself with a more fulfilling feeling than I have ever had in my years of riding BMX. Soldiers are the most appreciative and respectable audience i've ever seen.”
“The very next day one of the guys in the EOD squad went out on a mission. An explosive detonated taking with it his hand and leaving him with a grapefruit sized hole is his leg as well. We were told he was med evac flighted to Germany where he would be treated and survive despite his catastrophic injuries. I was again reminded how real this shit is and the risks these guys take.”
“Tales of violence and missile attacks became more apparent as we were taken to our sleeping quarters. A big canvas tent with a wood floor. I don't know much but I know that canvas is no match for a missile.”