The writer

In front of Serobi dam in Tagab Valley in July 2009

In front of Serobi dam in July 2009

I’m SMSgt Rex Temple and am currently at a Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Afghanistan in proximity of the Pakistan border.  For the next year, I’m part of an Embedded Training Team (ETT) tasked with mentoring the Afghanistan National Army (ANA).  This will be my fourth and final Middle East deployment.  When I return home next year, I will submit my retirement request and look forward to a new journey.  This is also my first attempt at creating a blog.

On medical mission in June 2009

On medical mission in June 2009

The primary purpose of this blog is to communicate with my lovely wife Liisa, extended family/friends and to document my experience while serving my country on my last deployment. I’ve made a personal decision to share my journey with the public. My hope is for the American public to see what else happens in a combat zone besides being engaged in kinetic activities.  My goal is to depict what I see, hear, smell, and do.

Liisa and Rex the night before deployment, May 2009

Liisa and Rex the night before deployment, May 2009

I am happily married to my soul mate Liisa and have a great life. I may not be a millionaire, but I am blessed with intangible riches.  Not only have I been rewarded with an extraordinary wife, but we also have two children (furry dogs) who provide hours of entertainment and they will be sorely missed.
The opinions expressed within are mine alone and not endorsed by the DoD or the US Air Force.

At the firing range on 4th of July

At the firing range on 4th of July

For OPSEC reasons I will not reveal sensitive or classified information or any information that could bring harm to me or my comrades in arms.
See my profile on Milblogging.com
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/afghanistanlast
Added in June 09:  I am amazed how many people are tuning in and following my blog.

Elections Mission, Aug 2009

Elections Mission, Aug 2009

Originally it was a medium to stay in contact with my wife Liisa, family members and friends.  Now I get up to 1,000 hits a day! A lot of the credit for the blog goes to my wife who assembles the pictures and posts my writings since I do not have reliable broadband Internet access at my FOB. Without her assistance, I couldn’t upload new content to the blog.  I do all the writing and photography and then send what I want posted to my wife via e-mail who is patient enough to serve as my web producer back home. Hopefully the Internet access gets better soon and I can do more of the posting and web site/blog maintenance myself. (I am not an employee of WUSF Radio and do not get paid for the weekly interviews reporter Bobbie O’Brien does with me; nor do I get paid by anyone else to write this blog.)

You can reach me by posting a comment or via e-mail at TRexinAfghanistan@gmail.com.

93 Responses

  1. Rex,

    Your mother has sent your blog site information out to the family. I’m happy to have access to it.

    Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and all our troops. Keep posting your activity, as I’ll check it from time to time.

    God bless you,
    Love, Aunt Lois

  2. Hi Rex: Glad to have access to your blog and learning about what your days consists of. We are keeping you in our prayers for a safe journey.

    Love you–Mom and Dad

  3. Will be praying for you my good man!! Come back safe so we can go and try out another restaurant when I go visit my real home. Haven’t been home for a while but am not in harms way as you will be. Wait a minute the economy sucks, everyone is losing their jobs, people who have jobs aren’t getting raises, and people are living in the streets here. I guess we just missing the bullets and IED’s other than that we’re pretty screwed too!
    No, Really no better place to live than the USofA. Even with all our problems.

  4. Hi Rex,
    This is one of Prof. Temple’s former students, Tara Sustr. We met at your house last semester when the two of you warmly welcomed a bunch of students over for dinner. I just wanted you to know that I’ll be thinking about you while you are overseas & I commend you for your bravery & commitment to our country. I will continue to follow your blog & have you & Liisa in my thoughts & prayers.
    All the best,
    Tara Sustr, USF graduate

  5. I have so much respect for you, your colleagues, and your beautiful bride who serves with you!

    Hang in there, pal…you are in our prayers and good wishes…

    LR and family…

  6. Hi, Rex,
    We haven’t met, but I went to Columbia Journalism School with Liisa — and when she wrote her classmates to say you were going to blog about your last tour, I just had to say something about how I feel about the sacrifice you and Liisa are making. I complain when my husband goes away for a week on business. It really puts things in perspective.
    Lots of good wishes, and prayers,
    Lisa McManus

  7. FYI, just tweeted u out on @5wa and @purdyz
    Look forward to the following the blog.

    Good Luck!

    Rob
    USAF Veteran First Gulf War
    and Air Force Rugger (former – sucks getting old)

  8. Hey Rex, will appreciate following your blog. My USAF pilot son is embedded w/the USArmy in a far eastern province in Afghanistan, too. Blessings on you. Will keep you, Lilsa and your mom in my prayers.
    applepiemom
    aka twitter.com/pay4this

  9. Hi Rex,

    Liisa sent the blog address also to family members in Finland, so your (and the Afganistan) life can be followed here too. Lots of courage to you both!
    Take care,
    Kirmo and family

  10. I am writing to let you know about a video contest our NATO HQs is sponsoring for folks like you, in case you are interested. Info is at http://www.afghanistanmatters.com. Keep up the good work! And I hope you will also let budding videographers know about our contest :-)

  11. hi, I’m in high school and have to write a report and it has to be first person. I’m doing it on the Iraq war and wanted to know if I could ask you some questions. if you could email me it would be so helpful. thank you very much.

  12. God’s Speed and return safe
    Msgt Mark Chylinski retired
    107th Air Refueling Wing NYANG

  13. Rex
    Glad to hear all is well. We have finished up our final prep here in Kuwait and fly north in the next couple of days. I’ll keep in touch and let you know how we are doing. Stay safe and tell the others I said hey.

    Steve

  14. Hello Rex,

    Liisa was kind enough to share your blog with me and I wanted to send you a note on this Memorial Day to let you know how many of us are forever thankful for you, your families and your friends.

    Stay Safe and God Bless,
    Julie

  15. Rex,
    I’m reading your material now and would love to do an interview with you for the Pentagon Channel’s “DownRange’ news program. Please let me know if you’re interested.

    Retired SMSgt myself and would love to share your experiences with our audience.

  16. Sent this to a Linkedin Group, Military Network

    Join in spreading the word about http://afghanistanmylasttour.com being written in real time by SMSgt Rex Temple.

    He also knows of troops who need care packages, http://afghanistanmylasttour.com/2009/06/01/charity-drive-mentoring-and-new-dog/

    I dont think they are twittering yet. So you can also help on twitter by retweeting @5wa and @purdyz who is a 99 BMW Z3 who tells life through her headlights. She is supporting this cause. She is now living in St Petersburg, across the bay where MacDIll AFB

    Help by getting the word! and pls tweet this on twitter and talk to @purdyz

    Cheers, Rob

    PS – I just saw that u are on twitter!

  17. A website, are you kidding? Dan has finally figured out how to do a power point – a Web site is WAYYYY down the road.

    Anyway, we just came back from seeing the movie with the woman who was in Big Fat Greek Wedding – it’s called My Life in Ruins – not rated high by the critics, but we liked to revisit the places we went to in 07 . I hope that we can go back soon.

    So, Philip, our eldest wrote me to say that he is at home from Saudi, working on his plane. He’s replacing a wing – um, yeah – well, I guess he knows what he’s doing. He lives in an Air Park, so there’s lots of flyguys (gals) there to help him.

    Alex (who said SURE, I have everything done to graduate) is taking two summer school classes at Miami (Ohio) to finish his history degree All his friends graduated and left. This is the kid who makes friends VERY slowly – but believe it our not, he’s become friends with his roommate and bumped into a kid he was in the dorm with during their freshman year. He has been watching the Magic/Lakers series – not much to do in that little town in the summer. He’ll be home the 28th,and done with the undergrad. Whew.

    Gracie and Lizzie say hi. We took them for a long walk this morning to visit the rooster on Countryclub and Braeside – he looks like the front of the Corn Flakes box.

    Hey – you be careful. When you get back to Tampa, we will have a very big party to celebrate your service. IN the meantime, we read your blog and listen to you on NPR.

    We love ya,

    Dan and Angela

  18. Hello Rex & Liisa,

    First, our deepest appreciation goes to all of our military members and our military families – we know that ALL of you contribute to our freedom.

    Second, here at Stardust Radio we have been interviewing deployed military and supporting both our military and Veteran communities for almost 9 years. If there is anything that we can do to help you or anyone in your unit, or anyone at home, please let us know.

    God be with you and keep you safe.
    Judi and Jeff
    United We Roll World Tour Show

  19. Sir,

    Major Kevin Jenrette, one of the soldiers remembered in your photo of the memorial service was the son of Col (Ret) Bill Jenrette and Ursula his wife. Bill , until recently, and Ursula are long time employees of our company. They very highly thought of by all who know them.

    I just wanted to say a word of thanks from me and my family for the tremendous job you and your fellow soldiers do for us and for our country. Some have commented that Major Jennrette did not have to go into the field that fateful day. I am want to say how glad I am that there are still men who will pick up a weapon and stand a watch and make the effort to protect what we are as Americans.

    As you complete your service I pray for you every day. Be safe and be brave and always know that there those of us that know we can never repay you for what you have done.

    God Bless you,

    Bill Mixon
    Auburn, Al

  20. Senior Master Sgt. Temple I just wanted to thank you for your post on Major Rocco Barnes. Rocco was a good friend of my brother’s and I was lucky to be counted among his friends as well. Many of Rocco’s friends have gathered in Cleveland to mourn him and honor his exceptional life. As one of my Navy friends said, “No one ‘gives their life’ for the country… The life is taken, violently. Each loss is beyond cost… a wound to the soul that will never heal.” Thanks for sharing some of Major Barnes’ work with the people who loved him and will miss him desperately.

  21. Have a good deployment. You Americans have a loooong tour – and doing a good job.
    Enjoy the warmth and stay safe:-)

    Best wishes
    Camilla Fuhr
    Journalist

  22. Today I stood for another mother’s son, a soldier’s wife, another HERO’s children, another HERO of us all…another one of America’s sons & daughters.

    As a mom of a wounded soldier myself, and, having lost a loved one to war ( my cousin KIA Vietnam)…I know all too well “Freedom is NEVER free”.

    “THANK YOU” is NEVER enough!

    My heart goes out to the family & friends of SSGT John Beale…I only wish I could take away your pain.

    I’d like to extend my deepest condolences & prayers for you all & this HERO, John…through song,” The Last Goodbye ” – (‘Bye John) lyrics below …written for another HERO, the loss of our son’s comrade while they were deployed in IRAQ, CPL John Paul Barta – KIA – Dec. 23, 2006.

    May it touch your heart & soul & bring you some comfort during this very difficult time.

    May God hold John in HIS loving arms forever & keep you in HIS tender care, until you meet again.

    God be with you, In HIS service,

    Susan D. Wiseman – ” The Tribute Lady ”
    http://www.ItIsTheSoldier.com (95+ Tributes ALL Free Stream/Downloads)

    Susan D. Wiseman – ” Bugles Across America ”
    National Coordinator & Ga. State Asst. Director
    http://www.BuglesAcrossAmerica.org

    Editor http://www.BAAvolunteers.org

    ” The Last Goodbye ” – (‘Bye John)

    “Hello” soldier … “No son, you don’t know my name.”
    I just wanted to say … “THANK YOU”… and,
    “Welcome Home”… from where you’ve been.

    I just met your lovely wife, John
    And, son … You have a real nice … family.
    All your friends been telling stories, John
    But, I’m sure … you’ve been listening.

    Men like you are special, John
    A cut above … the rest.
    A HERO … in ALL our eyes,
    You go on home now, son … get some rest.

    ( Spoken Prayer )

    Not another soldier, Lord … Please God,
    Not another one.
    Not another mother or father, sister or brother, husband or wife,
    Please, God … not another … mother’s son.
    Let this be … ” The Last Goodbye ”
    Please, Lord
    Not another one.

    ( Chorus )

    Not another soldier, Lord
    Not another one.
    Let this be … ” The Last Goodbye ”
    Not another mother’s son.
    Please, God
    Not another one …

    ( Musical Interlude )

    ‘ Bye John

    ( Spoken Prayer ” in Heaven ” )
    ( Heavenly Music Interlude followed by Piano INSTRUMENTAL )

    ‘Bye John.

    http://www.GoodbyeJohn.com
    ( ALL Downloads are FREE )

    ( Copyright – Jan. 4, 2007 )
    Susan D. Wiseman – ” The Tribute Lady ”
    http://www.TheTributeLady.com

    “Christ-Centered Pieces” – Given Gifts
    P.O. Box 1591
    Fayetteville, Ga.
    30214-1591

  23. Rex,
    Just wanted you to know Holley & I are checking in on you. We are keeping you & all of the troops overseas in our thoughts.

    Looking forward to your safe return.

  24. Rex,
    I have just added a link to your Blog on the Wesley Chapel web site (www.umcwesleychapel.org).

    This is a great way for your Church Family at Wesley Chapel to follow your footsteps.

    As always, our thoughts and prayers will be with you and all of our military members and families.

    C Smith
    Rockwood, PA

  25. Hi Rex, thanks for taking so much time to write this blog. Its wonderful. My brother has been recently stationed there and referred me to your site to understand the missions. Thanks to you and all the military for what you’re sacrificing and doing everyday. Everyone one is constantly in our thoughts and prayers.

  26. Thank you so much for taking time to write this blog~my son, one of “The Georgia Boys”, gave me the heads up and it’s great to follow! Even better to SEE you guys.
    GodSpeed
    Sandi~~ MamaDuck

  27. Hi Rex: My son will soon deploy to Iraq for 7 months. He’s Navy assisting the various forces. He came home to give me the news in person. He has been in the military 26 yrs and I’m very proud of his service and his accomplishments.
    My prayers are with you, your wife and family. I pray for you and your comrades who are serving. As the Mother of a military person, I know what goes on in the heart of a Mother. God Bless you and be careful!
    Bonnie

  28. Dear Rex, Thank you for doing this blog. I just logged on for the first time, today. I wonder if you could help me: I have a little friend (6 yrs. old) who has asked me if I could get him a soldier’s name and address for him to write to. I have sent many packages of baked goods over to Iraq, to our servicemen and women, but right now, I only have Troy’s Place, which is a place for all to go for recreation and relaxation, so I don’t have a particular address for a soldier. If it is possible, I would appreciate if you could give me an address. Even yours. He does not want to do e-mail, as he wants it personal. Also if you’d like, I would love to send over some baked goods or whatever to you to share with your troops. Anyway, thanks again for this blog. You are all in my Prayers. God Bless you and keep you safe. Phyllis

    • Hi SMSgt Rex, I found your blog searching for COP Conlon, where my “adopted” soldier is deployed. Thanks for sharing your experience and THANK YOU to all our troops for your service.

      To Phyllis: You and your little friend may be interested in Soldiers’ Angels where you can “adopt” a soldier. You will receive a name and address of a soldier to send cards/letters and packages to. http://www.soldiersangels.org
      Soldiers can also sign up here requesting to be “adopted.”

      • Mindy, thank you so much for your information. I am going to be out of commission for a couple of months due to surgery, but when I am recovered, I will absolutely refer to that. Phyllis

  29. Hi Rex,

    We were just at the Whipkey reunion and your mom brought some of the blogs for us to read. I thought I would check out the site and let you know that I am so thankful for cousins like you who give up your freedom for us. A big THANKS!!! You are in our prayers and anxious someday soon to talk to you in person, maybe the next Whipkey reunion. Thanks for sharing with us your experience in another country.

    Your cousin,
    Robin (Baker) Ansell

  30. Good afternoon Rex,

    I was writing to you because we would like to include you as an Air Force blogger in an Air Force film that we are producing and wondered if you might be interested in having a cameo role, reading your blog and conducting an interview about your blog. I had been told you were still out of the country, that your normal email was overloaded and this was the best place to get in touch with you.

    If you could please email me when you have time, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks,

    Joseph

  31. Thank you so much for your service. Please stay safe and come home.

  32. Rex & Liisa,
    I really love reading the blog and wanted to tell you I think of you both often. My son is (hopefully) going to make it home in December-his choice of R/R spots-for his little sister’s wedding. Guessing you will be in Germany then. If there is anything from Savannah that I can send just give me the word.
    I hope to some day meet you both~ regardless you have family in Savannah, GA
    ~~Mama Duck

  33. Outstanding and informative blog. You are a very descriptive chronicler creating a virtual picture of your missions and conditions. I am considering a deployment and wanted to find out how things were in the AOR by googling “Afghanistan deployment blog”. I’ve spent the last two hours following in your foot steps and I feel much better prepared and informed. You are the epitome of Air Force values. Thank you and your family for all your sacrifices on our behalf.

  34. Rexster,

    Great stuff brother! Glad to see you’re still making a difference and great way to share your experiences.

    Stay safe!

    Kaz

    ps. I’m working (for AFRICOM) over in Stuttgart, Germany…..look me up if you ever roll thru.

  35. My husband is there also and he too is on the far eastern side. After this past week of events, I have come to the realization that I was not made to be a military wife. I commend the spouses and families for supporting their soldier thru their deployments and I have done and will continue to do the same, not only for him whom I love dearly, but for our very young children who ask about him literally every day. I stand strong and hide it from him (at least I hope I do) so he can concentrate on his job and come home safely to us and to make sure his soldiers come home safely also. He will be home at the end of the year and I have started the count down already. Thank you Rex, for all you are doing and Liisa, from one military wife to another, Thank you also.

  36. Hi Rex,

    I came across your website just now during my search for military blogs and think it’s an awesome representation of our military. It’s extremely difficult searching through the tons of blogs on the web to discover well-written, insightful posts–and I’m glad that I found yours. 

    I like all the relevant information on your blog and would really like to do a link or banner exchange (maybe a quick link on your blogroll?). I operate two similar military-based sites called RealMilitaryNetwork and RealMilitaryFlix that deal with breaking news, war footage, military tech, books, movies, and games. I’m currently working on building up a Bloggers widget (where the video listing is on the far right of our site) on the sites where we’d feature some of the great military bloggers on the net, and give our favorite blogs another outlet to garner traffic and readership.

    I think the exchange would be beneficial for both our sites, and was hoping you’d be open to the idea. I look forward to hearing back from you, and wish you continued success with your blog. Keep it up!

    Best,

    John Philips.

  37. Sgt. Temple
    Just a note to advise you that if you are not aware, the PGR, of which I am a member, will be standing to Honor Sgt. Morales this week in Dalton. I will be proud to stand in the Flag line for this hero, and want to thank you for your devoted service to our country……..Please pass these wishes to all your soldiers…….best regards from Ball Ground, GA…USA.

  38. God bless you all~ Recently a new service man from my church was sent to Afghanistan somewhere there near you. His mother who like many others will benefit greatly from you writings so I’ll be sure she knows your here sharing your days of service with us. Thank you for your time giving us this outlet for gathering real time information about all that’s going on there. Again you are appreciated for what your doing now and have done in the past to provide for our safety back in the States. Awesome you hear me, just awesome!

    Remembering you and your fellow comrades often with positive thoughts and prayer.

    In Christ,
    Melissa

  39. Hi Rex, my husband told me to check this out. This is a really great way for those of us that are family members to stay connected. Looks like you have a beautiful wife, and a great life ahead after retirement. I always keep you all in my prayers, as do many of the members of our church on a weekly and daily basis. Thanks again for taking the time to do this. With much appreciation, Amy

  40. I enjoyed the article on the women serving over there with you on the convoys. Would you be okay with us running it in our quarterly newsletter?

  41. Hi Rex, Thanks for the great write up on Chris Lowe, it was very well done. I was close friend of his mother for a time in the 90′s and had the opportunity to get to know Chris as a young lad , he’s a fine young man deserving of your fine words. So too is his mother who raised him with values that were reflected in his actions that fateful day. May you stay well and continue to share these stories of the men who comprise our armed forces that mean so much to those who know them and should serve to educate those who have not had the pleasure of meeting them yet.

  42. Rex,

    I go to the same church as Capt Matthew Freeeman’s grandparents. Needless to say, last Sunday was a tough one. Would like to hear more on the mission if possible.

    Ed
    retired Army

  43. Rex my mother has made a smile book for Capt Freeman that she would like me to send to your for this site. I do not knwo how to get it to you but if you could email me Robert.F.Feus@uscg.mil I can then send it to you that way for posting.

  44. Hi Uncle Rex! I’ve been reading your blogs and postings lately. Mom and Dad have, too. We enjoy learning about your daily life and enjoy the blogs. My 16th Birthday wasn’t a very good one because all I thought about was how you weren’t there. I hope next year you get to spend my birthday with me or vice versa. Well, I will try and keep posting or emailing. I miss you! Keep safe.

    Love Always,
    Annie [your Little Sunshine!]

  45. This Air Force wife salutes you! I’m so glad I found you on Twitter. You are an excellent writer who obivisously has an organized mind and the ability to perfectly express yourself. That’s not easy under most conditions, but given your circumstances, it is truly amazing. God bless you – and Lisa and your furry children!

    Sincerely,
    Bonnie Latino
    http://www.YourGiftToMe.net

  46. Rex — thanks for the constant posts. Loved the ones on the election. We can now finally read your blog from Bagram! Take care, stay safe and look me up when you come through. Dave Faggard http://www.isthison.wordpress.com

  47. Hello My name is Vi,
    I just wanted to take a min to say Thank You to all of you. I have had several family members go to Afghanistan to. I had a Nephew that was there, I have several cousins as well. WE all here rooted for them and the people they served with.
    We here at The Home of The Country Bumpkins hold you all close to our Hearts and safe in our prayers that everyone will come home safely.
    Vi

  48. Just wanted to say “thanks” for posting this. It is very interesting. It brings it a little more in focus for those of us at home that only get the blurbs the media will air. And, of course, thanks for all you do over there.

  49. I am happy that you are sharing your experiences with us here in the US. We hear many awful things and it is refreshing to hear of the constructive and positive things that are happening. My grandson Brett Hershey died in Afghanistan in March 2005. He was serving with the National Guard there. I support our troops because he would not want me to do otherwise. God bless you. Brett will always be remembered as a young man who served to keep us free. Janet R.

  50. Hi Rex,

    My boyfriend is currently deployed in the same area, and fortunately we are able to talk about once a week which is more than I had expected! Since June I have been volunteering for a non-profit that raises awareness for needs and causes in Afghanistan (mostly women and children, education, housing, etc) which has helped me to stay involved in the current state of affairs and feel closer to him.

    Still, what’s missing is real live feedback, a voice, real words from the brave men and women in Afghanistan, and I just wanted to let you know I’m so happy to have found your blog, so thank you (and your wife) for going through the steps whenever possible to post updates.

    As you must already know, but I will also reiterate: this blog is tremendously encouraging for those of us supporting our troops, becuase for a few moments of the day it makes the miles and oceans that separate us feel a lot smaller.

    Thank you for your service & God Bless!
    Whitney

  51. I do not know you, but thank you for your service to our great nation. Thank you also goes out to your family for their service. An old USN vet.

  52. Hi – I’m interested in using the nearly-rolled-over MRAP for the cover of October’s issue of Defense Technology International magazine… it is very relevant to a story we’re working.

    Would that be possible?

  53. The migratory people you may see are called “Cuchi”. They move according to the weather..many settle in Khost Province during the Afghan winter. They often carry things they should not…

    I hope the Air Force in the future provides pre-deployment training on the M-2/.50 Cal (hed space and timing) and the 240..or, in particular the SAW.

    Good luck and stay safe…

    RH/FOB Gardez, Paktia/2003

  54. Hi SMSgt Rex,

    I wanted to ask you a personal question regarding your website, is there an email address I can reach you at?

    Best regards,
    Marcus Silva

  55. Hi Rex,
    Mom was telling me about your mission to gather supplies for the children and I decided to look up your blog. Glad I did! It is nearly 1:00 a.m. and I am heading to bed, but I will be reading this in depth in the morning!
    Hope all is well and God bless you as you carry out your mission. I also read your articles when they appear in the Daily American .
    Take care and be safe.

    Jodi

  56. Hi Rex,
    You may or may not remember that I went fishing with your dad and John Farney and met you at Yough Dam a couple of years ago.

    You continue to be in my prayers as you serve so honorably and I look forward to seeing you again.

    Regards,
    Roger H.

  57. I found you from the anysoldier website. You do a great job with your writing, and I’m looking forward to catching up on your blogs, as well as reading the new posts that come through.

    I’m praying for your safety and quick return home to your wife and “children!” Thank you for your service!

  58. Hi Rex! I have been following your weekly updates on WUSF on my treks to and from work. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your perspective with the listening public. I also get news from “over there” thru my penpal in Iraq thru anysoldier.com. Stay safe and keep the news coming!

  59. Thank you for sharing your story with the public. My fiance has just been deployed for his first tour in Afghanistan and I find your blog very helpful. Thank you for giving me an insight into what he will be experiancing day to day while he is deployed. God Bless you and stay safe.

  60. Rex,
    I discovered your blog today. First of all, let me say thank you for serving. The hard work and sacrifice that you and your family make is greatly appreciated. Next, I must admit that I will be reading for “selfish” reasons. I adopted a soldier this summer who is serving in an FOB in Afghanistan. I’ve never done this before and I figure the more I understand about what he goes through, the better a supporter I can be to him.

    stay strong and be safe…
    sincerely, Gina

  61. Rex & Liisa,
    I just found your blog and can’t put it down. I really enjoyed reading about the Village Medical Operation (VMO) you wrote about in June. My wife is on her second VMO right now and is pretty stubborn with giving me any info on what they are like. I appreciate you taking your valuable time to write this. Thanks Rex. And Thank You Liisa for your service to our country!

    Dave

  62. [...] how it relates to our active duty Airmen and their families. Today’s post comes to us from SMSgt. Rex Temple, who writes a blog called Afghanistan: My Last Tour. SMSgt Temple has been writing about his [...]

  63. What a terrific blog!! You are both in my thoughts.

  64. Need info regarding FOB Shank
    - do you have L&O
    - living conditions all B-hut or mixed w/ tent
    - electricity; do need converter bx’s
    - knowing what you know now what would you pack to make your life easier
    - do you have a logistics request; may be able to help
    - if you are in Shank can you be my POC; looking to forward deploy civilian essentials via snail mail
    - time in Classified but i’ll find you in Shank

  65. Dear Rex:

    I wanted to write and simply say thanks on this Thanksgiving. Thanks for your service to our country, thanks for your blog, and thanks especially for your thoughts on Thanksgiving which helped me keep some perspective over here.

    Please tell all your comrades out there that we are behind them 100% with our thoughts and prayers.

  66. My prayers are with you, your wife and family. I pray for
    you and your comrades who are serving. As the Grandmother of a military person who is serving his second tour in Afghanistan, I know what goes on in the the heart of a grandmother. My grandson is only 22…he’s attached to 2/321 FA BN, 4th BCT, Team Apocalypse 82nd ABN DIV.,Camp Stone APO AE 09354

    God Bless you and be careful!

  67. SMSgt Temple,
    I am a Navy Corpsman deploying with a Marine ETT “sometime” early 2010. Your blog has been incredibly helpful with my personal research I have been doing and I have shared your site to all of my teammates. Congratulations on a job well done on the “tip of the tip of the spear”. Thanks for sharing your journey.

  68. Bonjour Rex,
    Comme tu peux le voir, je suis français et je suis tombé sur ton site par le plus grand des hasard. Je ne sais pas si tu es encore en Afghanistan mais pour ma part, j’y serais à compter du mois de janvier 2010 à la FOB de Tora. Je suis gendarme et je serais à la Gendarmerie Prévotâle de la FOB de Tora. Si tu passes dans le coin, ce sera un plaisir de t’offrir une bière ou un café. A bientôt peut être.
    Sergent Chef Lionel Lefebvre – Gendarmerie Prévôtale

  69. Rex.. I’ve bookmarked your blog. You write very well, and are providing us with a much-needed perspective on Afghanistan. Thanks, and All the best – Mark

  70. Rex –

    Thanks for your service and godspeed. Really enjoy your blog.

    My company is in the contract sewing business. About a year ago, i was contacted individually by a LT stationed at Camp Stone in Herat. He asked if we could make him some covers for his vehicles’ turrets. We went ahead and did that for him. apparently, they had no way to protect the turret from smow, rain, hot sun, etc.

    If you know anyone who could use some, we will be happy to provide pro bono. Just trying to help in any small way possible.

  71. Hi, you don’t know me, but my name is Maggie and I’m a 9th grader from Chicago who’s recently started to keep up with your blog. I found out about it through my research for a school project, though, I plan to continue reading and keeping up with your blog after the project. Best of luck and thank you so very much, I will pray for your safety. You’ve inspired me so much, I’m currently out of school for a long weekend to study for our upcoming finals, but I do plan on doing my best to get my school involved in helping collect and getting school supplies to children in Afghanistan. Once again, thank you so much and good luck.

  72. Who knew where the winds were going to blow us when we were growing up together in PA? I am so very proud of you Rex and all the men and women who fight for our freedom each and every day.
    Praying for your safe return.
    And a hello to your folks, Mark & Jill.

  73. Dear Rex, It has been a long time since I wrote to you. I apologize. I just want to say thank you and your troops for all their sacrifices and all your families.
    God Bless. Phyllis

  74. SMSgt Temple,

    I was told of this blog and was told to check it out before my deployment. It was to my surprise to see that it was a Familiar face. In case you have forgotten about me I was stationed at the MacDill Legal office and I am now here in DC. I am leaving in 2 weeks for the BAF and I am now not as excited as I once was.

  75. Dear SMSgt Temple,

    First of all, thank you for running an excellent blog. It’s fascinating.

    Second of all, I am writing my MSc Dissertation about milblogging, and I was wondering if you might be interested in being interviewed briefly for my work?

    I have a blog about my project where you can find more information: http://londonmilblogresearchproject.wordpress.com/

    My email is j.siegel (at) lse.ac.uk if you’d like to contact me directly.

    I hope you had a good Easter and keep safe. Thanks for all of the work you do.

    Jessica Siegel

  76. Hey Rex,
    Found your blog by accident BUT WOW.,..what a great blog you have going….I too am currently deployed.
    What are your plans when you return to Tampa?

    Stay safe,

    Sharon
    aka First Sgt.

  77. [...] to see more recent accolades? After a year in Afghanistan, Senior Master Sergeant Rex Temple is on his way home. While deployed, SMSgt Temple wrote a blog called “Afghanistan: My Last [...]

  78. Rex,
    Just wanted to say thanks for your service. Also, congratulations on being awarded the Bronze Star Award and being recognized on the hometown level in Rockwood. I’m glad the church was able to help with your school supplies outreach. Thanks for reminding us also there is tremendous power in prayer.
    God Bless You and Liisa,
    Connie Pletcher-your cousin Steve’s wife :)

  79. Rex,

    Nice seeing your face again. Great photos. Brings back a lot of memories. I enjoyed being there with the USAF and USMC members of the team.

    How did things work out with the 173d guys?

    BSM’s? Way to go!

    Sam (The Oldest Captain in the Army)

  80. Rex,
    We are interested in having you visit our company for a diversity event surrounding service men. Are doing public speaking engagements? Please reply back.

  81. Rex and Liisa, it was a pleasure to meet you.
    This a wonderful website and you are a great writer.
    Come back to MDI , there is more to see and do.
    Thanks for helping keep us free, Vicky Fernald

  82. Rex,

    Are you in contact with Capt G? I wrote him once, didn’t hear anything back, then lost his e-mail addresses. We were going to try to get together up at his place in the north-land. If in contact, can you let him know my e-mail?

    I retired from the Army (again) last March and from my day job last week. It is nice to be able to do what I want after the Honey-Do list is worked off for the day.

    Sam… The Oldest Captain in The Army

  83. Rex;
    I’m a friend of Dorie Griggs, (through her husband- Stanley Leary). Which is how I heard of your blog, and I thoroughly enjoyed your writing.
    The website above is a video for a Small Business that I thought you would appreciate for two reasons, one it’s in Afghanistan, and secondly it’s owned by a woman.
    Both of which are possible for you & your buddy’s service.
    Thanks for the blog, and thanks for Serving in the Military,
    Keep me posted as to what you are up to now,
    Gil Williams

  84. Hello Rex,
    I came across your web page when I was researching Garmisch, I am meeting my husband there in August for his R&R. He is Det Commander of the 455th Engineers and is currently in Afghanistan not too far it seems from where you were. We will be at the Edelweiss Lodge and wondering if you have any helpful info. for the area.

    Thank you & your wife for your service, web page and welcome home!
    Sincerely
    Justine~

  85. Hey! I was wondering if you even remember me. I hope so…I also was wondering if you could send me those pics from the June2009 MEDCAP. I hope you are doing well and your family also. Well, I hope to hear from you soon. BTW you are amazing and always kept our morale up!

  86. [...] can’t write about packages for children without giving a nod to MacDill Air Force SMSgt. Rex Temple and his wife, Liisa Hyvarinen Temple. Rex started a school supplies drive for Afghan children [...]

  87. Hello!
    Came across this wonderful blog while researching Afghanistan. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us; it means a lot and helps us understand the tour of soldiers. You are doing so much for students. Keep safe and thanks again for serving our country ! and thanks to Liisa who keeps the blog going !!

  88. [...] are solutions to these dilemmas. SMSgt. Rex Temple and his wife Liisa Temple are spearheading an effort to bring school supplies to Afghan children. [...]

  89. I was looking up “MAX PRO” in google search to show my dad what I drove out here during missions.
    Im currently halfway through my first tour in Afghanistan. Reading your blog, I can relate to many things you see and think…those Afghans. Im currently around the same area you were at in RC East….I’ll soon be moving to RC North. Im also conducting around the same missions as well. Were working here with the ANP’s. Our area is about to be labeled at ‘Independent’….noting the reason were moving north.
    Anyways, I just wanted to compliment you on your blog, and I hope you enjoy your retirement, you deserve it.

    - PFC RICHARDS, 127 MP CO

  90. Your blog and comments prove there are still things and people that worth living…
    I am sure your efforts in Afghanistan and your goals will be achieved…

    All the best with your retirement.

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