One of the advantages of being associated with the military for over 33 years is the ability to get free vacations in exotic parts of the world and bring back souvenirs. However, Afghanistan in 2001 proved to be less than exotic and void of collectibles. I did get to know some great Americans in the Special Operations Community, both Army Special Forces and Marine Special Ops. I was in-country Dec 2001 until Feb 2002 at Kandahar. Naval Task Force 58 had operational command under BG James Mattis at Kandahar Airport. Task Force 58 included the US Navy ships USS Peleliu and USS Bataan and the 15th and 26th Marine Expeditionary Units (SOC). I was able to again witness history in the making. The Marine component of Special Operations Command was created by a Memo of Agreement signed by the Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen James L. Jones November of 2001. I knew him as a Lieutenant commanding my Marine Infantry Training Company in 1968. He loaned me a pair of class A trousers so I could go on liberty (we are the same height) until I received my issue shorted from bootcamp.
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