January 31, 2014

Local soldier speaks on Afghanistan experiences midway through tour


With military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, it's easy to forget about the soldiers still trudging overseas. Despite political efforts to reduce deployments and the number of troops in the war-torn countries, men and women from all over the country still travel to the Middle East at the behest of the United States military. 

One such traveler is Chickasha native and National Guard Spc. Justin Reinschmidt.

For the last three months, Reinschmidt has been in southern Afghanistan working as personal security detail for an Army General. He took some time this week to call The Express-Star and discuss his experiences and the differences between home and his current residence.

"It's dusty over here," he said of the area surrounding Kandahar. "It's very dusty. The vehicles are very different. You may see a Chevy here or there, but they are different model vehicles from what you see back home." 

Reinschmidt's days consists of food served to him at base at a southern regional command center. The soldier initially trained to be a part of a multiple launch rocket crew, but this mission was scrubbed and he was rolled into another platoon with the new task of guard service. 

"It was stressful when the mission got scrubbed, but everything has gotten better," he said. "My entire military career I trained for one thing, but I am really glad to be where I am right now." 

Multiple reports have shown the action has calmed down in surrounding Kandahar, but occasional rocket attacks still plague Reinschmidt and his fellow soldiers. 

"We haven't had anyone injured in awhile, but it certainly keeps you on your toes," he said. 

When he does travel into Kandahar, Reinschmidt said the city is unlike anything he expected. 

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