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Rebuilding Afghanistan: From Sun Up to Can't Stop
If there was ever the idea that working in the war zone in Afghanistan, whether it be in Kabul, Heart, Kandahar or any of the points of interest, is easy, make no mistake about it; work is the order of the day
When Kim Pugh, who works as a civilian for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Afghanistan District, was asked to summarize her experience as an African American in Afghanistan, she said, "Work."
That was the common response of those interviewed in Afghanistan who are working for the military as civilians for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or as contractors. Rebuilding parts of the war-torn country and building parts of it require a great deal of effort, time and study.
The same could be said for military personnel.
Master Sergeant Eric Johnson, of North Carolina, an 18-year veteran of the Army, said that often his days might run into each other.
"I usually start work at seven in the morning after I go get some breakfast," he said. "Then, I may have to go out into the field to assist the commanders at a site we are working on. Depending on where the site is, I could be on the road or in a plane for up to three hours.
"Even after a trip like that, I have to do more paperwork on my findings. And then, I have to attend meetings-some of which are planned and many which are not.
"In the evening, I generally don't have meetings so I do paperwork, talk to the new people who have come to us from the States or Iraq, and catch up on my e-mails. Sometimes I am looking at the resumes of people who are interested in coming to Afghanistan for the Engineering Corps until two in the morning. Of course, I start again at 7 a.m."
Johnson is considered one of the top enlisted men at Afghanistan District Corps. He is a confidant of Commander Christopher J. Toomey, serving as an adviser to him on many issues and making sure that the work gets done.