Operation Enduring Freedom

A post from Jason Mox–my studly husband–from Afghanistan:

I hope all is well back in the states! I cannot begin to explain how much your love and support mean to me. Your letters are encouraging and a blessing!

It seems like just yesterday I was leaving family and friends for Officer Candidate School. I remember feeling nervous, yet excited about the possibility of being a Marine, an Officer, and in the infantry. It all seemed like a far off dream though. Now just over a year later I’m actually in Afghanistan as a TRAP  Platoon Commander.

I officially left California on November 9th. It was hard saying good bye on such short notice, but Steph’s support really helped. I definitely could not do this with out her! After a short lay over in Alaska we departed on a long flight to Kyrgyzstan. We stayed there for two nights before departing for Afghanistan.

It’s hard to explain how I was feeling as all this was happening. I had heard rumors and stories of Platoon Commanders graduating the Infantry Officer Course (IOC) and meeting their platoons on the plane to Operation Enduring Freedom. I did not think it would happen to me. Basically, my first conversation with my platoon sounded like this: “Hi my name is Lieutenant Moxley and I’m your new Platoon Commander. I’ll be leading you in combat in a few days.” Talk about a baptism by fire.

The first few weeks were hectic to say the least. There was so much to get done and just not enough time in a day. This is my office.
This is where I live.
Home sweet home!
So let’s talk TRAP. TRAP stands for Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and/or Personnel. Essentially I command a force similar to SWAT, but in combat. We are a quick reaction force (QRF) that respond to a multitude of situations across the battlefield including mass casualty evacuations, recovery of downed aircraft and personnel, and/or providing reinforcements or more firepower. Unfortunately, I can’t talk specifics due to operational security, but I can give you a glimpse into some of the opportunities I’ve had. I worked with:
  • the Brits and Danish who are fun and light hearted
  • the Jordanians who speak Arabic so an interpreter is necessary
  • local nationals that speak Pashtu and serve as our interpreters
  • Afghan Uniform Police (AUP) who think Marines are GI JOES
  • Special Forces units who are relatively normal guys
Practicing combat life saving
So we still need some work…
Maybe Steph could give us some lessons!
As time goes on, I am relating more and more with my Marines. I find myself playing many roles- from Commander, to counselor, to coach and teacher, to mentor, and older brother. Recently, I had the opportunity to pray with one of my Marines. It was an encouraging and rewarding experience.
Chapel. “Finding Hope in the Desert”
I recently finished the book Desiring God by John Piper. I highly recommend reading it as he challenges believers to seek Christ as our supreme joy in all things to the point of forsaking our freedoms, comforts, even our very lives. Some key verses I would like to share are:
  • “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:25-26
  • “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18
  • “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” Philippians 3:8
  • “The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” John 12:25
An armored vehicle that was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device
It may seem far away, but it is very real to those of us here and the families of the Hero’s sent home bearing our flag. There are people laying down their lives everyday for something they believe strongly in. Please earnestly pray for us and realize that everyday you too have an opportunity to make a difference in someone else’slife.
Jason
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3 responses to “Operation Enduring Freedom

  1. It's really great to hear from you and hear those bible verses!! Even being as far away as you are you can still reach into my heart and speak to me through the verses!! Thank you for all you have done, continue to do and will be doing for me, our country, and our world!! I really am always thinking of you and Stef!! (Matt Smanski)

  2. We are so very proud of you Jay! Thank you for the updates, so great to hear from you. I know that God sent you there and thanks for the inspiring scriptures.

    Love,
    Dad, Mom, Heather and Ranch

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