Smoking Cigars in Afghanistan.
My first deployment as a brand new Lieutenant in the U.S. Army brought me to Afghanistan. I didn't like being away from my wife, but I was ready to start my career as an Officer. One of the ways that my Commander, CPT Gamache, would professionally develop me was to smoke cigars at the end of the day with other Officers. We would bring some lawnchairs to this little hill overlooking the valley and hang out. It was a great way to unwind at the end of the day. Talk about work was inevitable, but we weren't actually working in doing so. It was more about talking about recent events. It wasn't a time to "get things done" in a conversation, but to relax. Sitting around smoking cigars was a great way to get to know people. You got to meet the real person while they weren't in work-mode or trying act a certain way. I'm now on my second deployment as an Army Officer and there is no change that I've seen in the way that cigars bring people together. Just having cigars in common lets you get to know people that you wouldn't otherwise. Last deployment I bummed cigars off of my Commander. This deployment will be different in that I'll share what I've got in my stocked humidor with the new Second Lieutenants. Enjoy smoking everybody!