Friday, June 24, 2005


Earlier this month I got a 4-day pass to Bulgaria where I could meet Patricia.

Sofia from our hotel room

The domes on the Alexander Nevsky cathedral

Patricia shopping in the street market.

Signs in Cyrillic. We had a really good map, but it had Latin characters while the street signs were in Cyrillic which made it difficult to get around.

Just before saying goodbye.


This month's MEDCAP was a little different. We focused only on providing medical services (no dental, optometry or veterinarian services). It worked out well - we were able to see 298 people without overloading any part of the system.

The school was in a rural community full of very friendly people.

Me and my NCO at the entrance of the school

The KPC providing registration and screening services.

A local doctor providing care.

A KFOR doctor providing care.

In a positive change from previous MEDCAPs, a KFOR doctor stepped back and supervised 3 medics while they took care of the people from the community. Here, one of my medics checks on the health of a child.

At the end of the day, I noticed there was a manageable amount of litter in the school yard and a lot of people available to pick it up. Once the kids caught on, everything was cleaned up quickly.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Kosovo Radio

I've added a link to the right side for Radio Pozheran. Click on the "Live" button to listen to Kosovo radio. A few leaders of the task force have radio shows at this station. There are regular power outages that delay the shows, and I still haven't been able to catch one over the internet but it's still worth a try. Friday nights sometime between 9pm and 11pm Kosovo time is the most regular show.


During the Lourdes pilgrimage, I met soldiers from around the world. Their dress uniforms were sometimes similar to ours, but often more elaborate and historic. Here are a few:

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Lourdes France

Last month I had the opportunity to go to the 47th International Military Piligrimage in Lourdes France. Countries from around the world represented themselves and KFOR sent a contingent to represent NATO. I was one of 85 people from 17 nations (Argentina, Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United States and France) that contribute to KFOR. The Ukrainian public affairs department was there to document the trip for NATO. For a week a youth camp became a military camp where most countries stayed in tents and shared dining facilities and bathrooms. The first hot days of summer occurred while we paraded in uniform and sought shelter in the shade. The French military did a great job coordinating transportation, housing and food for thousands of soldiers.

The entrance to the military camp:

The KFOR camp:

Inside the tent:

The view from the camp.

The Lourdes tourist shops:

The grotto where Bernadette saw the Virgin Mary:

A cross on a dome of the Lourdes Basilica

Lourdes from the castle:

The owner of a tourist shop. He was friendly to US KFOR soldiers and was proud of his son being a NYC policeman. He pointed out the that the flag above his right shoulder flew at Normandy during WWII.



Preparing for a parade

The opening ceremony for the military pilgrimage

After the ceremony completed, the military bands paraded through the streets of Lourdes

We brought some extra patches to trade with other soldiers, but couldn't say no to the kids that wanted an American flag.

The streets were crowded with tourists and shoppers.

The castle after dark:

Even at midnight, there were lines at the faucets to fill containers with water from the spring at the grotto.

Breakfast with a cadet of the French military academy "St Cyr" (More information in English)

The candlelight procession

The US color guard casing the colors after the closing ceremony