Sunday, December 20, 2009

Afghanistan Photo Contest, Billy Ray Cyrus, & the British Cafe'

In September, when I was in Bagram, I heard about a photo contest for photos of Bagram and around Afghanistan.  AAFES, Nikon, and Exchange new car sales sponsored the contest.  It had 7 different categories: on duty, off duty, aerial, macro, people, action, and ground ops (a couple were added during the contest).  Winners got digital cameras, t-shirts, and gift cards.  It ran from September until December 15th, a few days ago.  Since it started I've been submitting a number of photos that I've taken while here.  The judging happened this last week and the final results were in.  It turns out one of my photos got First Place!  It was one of my macro shots (macro category).  I personally thought it was going to be the 'Razor's Edge' photo I took of the razor wire, but to my surprise it ended up being my picture of the 'Big Bee' that I came upon one day hanging from our gator.  Below is my winning photo for the macro category.

Here is the link to the winning photos from the photo contest:
And this is the link to see all the photos that were submitted for the contest, including the different categories:

Last week, on Wednesday December 16th, we had a Holiday Variety Show put on by the USO.  Billy Ray Cyrus, Dave Attell, Nick Bollettieri, & Anna Kournikova were the special guests who came to see us.  That evening they put a simple show on for us.  Dave Attell mc'd the evening with his comedy, Anna just came to support, Nick gave us a motivational message, and Billy (with a couple other guitars and singers) played 'unplugged' on acoustic for us some old country songs with some twang, including Aiky Breaky Heart!

Me and Billy Ray Cyrus

Me with Anna Kournikova

Me with Nick Bollettieri

Me and Dave Attell

I'm not sure if I put a photo of this place up before, but this is the British Cafe'.  It's like a Starbucks for us out here how nice it is decorated inside.  It's a warm and inviting place - a good place to get away and escape for a few hours.  Tom, Chen, me and others who play in the chapel 'next' worship band meet here about every Monday night for coffee, and the newly added cigars and guitars.  After hanging out here it almost seems like we aren't in a war oppressed area like Afghanistan.

This week is!  Soon it will be the New Year too, which means I go on leave not too far afterwards!  Time seems to be moving by quicker for us, and that is good.

Until later, cheers and Merry Christmas!

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