"Blue Ridge Farm" - 24" x 48" -oil
With all of the show stuff going on I just realized that I didn't post the conclusion to my trip to Afghanistan. So without further ado...
Since the last time we left Steven he was waiting to discuss flights out to Bagram. We went to the PERSCO (Personnel Support for Contingency Operations) tent to see about our flight out. The five of us sat their listening to all of the names that were listed. Only two of our names were called to board the flight... neither of which was mine. Obviously this caused some concern because it would send one artist and one escort to Afghanistan leaving the remaining two artists and one escort in Kyrgyzstan.
This is where the trip took a bad turn. While in the terminal waiting area, one of the other artists convinced the higher ups to send two artists instead of an artist and an escort. While making this deal, the same artist decided (without my knowledge) that if two artists were going that I would not be one of them. This was not his decision to make and his reasoning was even more disrespectful to me as both an artist and a human being.
So there I was in Kyrgyzstan, dazed, confused and angry. With the exception of the mountains and the dry air there was nothing special about the base. Fortunately my escorts and some of the folks at public affairs were able to get me into some places around the base that were normally off limits. Got lemons...make lemonade. Everyone that I encountered during this time was kind of skiddish until they found out that I was a volunteer and not a contractor (soldiers don't seem to be fond of contractors).
In the end I was able to get a lot of reference for my painting. The trip wasn't what I expected but my life isn't what I thought it would be (it's better). Anyway...since I'm posting this I can say that I got home safely. Now I wonder where the next trip will take me too.