When staff-photographer-turned-Army-specialist Luke Wark first deployed to Afghanistan with his Army National Guard unit I pictured the landscape would be something like West Virginia without the trees growing through junk cars and without the white-water rafting.
It couldn’t be further from the rolling, tree-filled green hills of West Virginia, as sand is the official color and eye irritant of the area where Wark is stationed. No beaches, just sand.
I asked Luke to provide us with a few photos from his deployment, and he didn’t dissappoint. It just took him a bit longer than expected. Luke isn’t sure when he will come home, but it should be by the end of the year, and we’re hoping to get him back taking pictures for the Register after Jan. 1, 2013. He sent us photos (above) and they were published in yesterday's Register. Luke also commented on his time there...
Afghanistan is a harsh yet beautiful country. While I have been deployed here over the past few months I have had the privilege to see much of a portion of this part of the world. Being part of an Army helicopter flight crew has enabled me to see portions of the country that many others do not get to. I have seen Afghan villages, mountain valleys and stepped terraced fields. I have also seen much wildlife that some only ever get to see on television or in the zoo.
It is amazing to watch the landscape go from arid desert to rocky mountains to fertile areas all in the same flight and think that people have found a way to survive in this harsh corner of the world for hundreds of years. Unfortunately the vast majority of the flying I do here is at night under cover of darkness, so most of the the images I have during flight are on those rare occasions when we fly into the morning.
I hope you all enjoy the images of this area that I have had the opportunity to take while deployed and I look forward to returning to Sandusky.
-SPC Lucas Wark
As we go on with the ups and downs of our daily lives here in Sandusky or wherever you may live along the North Coast, be grateful you are here and be grateful for the job that people like Luke go to every day, thousands of miles away from those most important to him.
And if you have a minute, or two, write Luke a letter. Hopefully he will get back in the U.S. before the letter makes it to Afghanistan, a race Luke is hoping to win as well.
SPC Lucas Wark
Task Force No Mercy
Co B 3/238th AVN 1-101st
Salerno APO, AE 09314
And don’t forget to submit your soldier’s address and photo for the Sandusky Register’s Away for the Holidays feature coming up in November. Send any early submissions to awayfortheholidays@sanduskyregis.... We will have more information in the next few weeks.