Collinsville, Oklahoma
October 30, 2013 (Online Nov. 7th)
CMS 2nd Hand Interview
Middle School Students Provided Information On Visit To Their Class By Major Jason Junkens
I have made a presentation to Mrs. Rowden's CMS current events classes and also attended another to cover in person. I did not attend this presentation to her class (by Army Major Jason Junkens) but am instead reporting from the perspective of 3 students from each of two different classes. I was to interview the students but needed only to ask a few questions as they provided a wealth of information. Hopefully my delay of a week to transform my notes from their interview(s) into the story below will not impact their grade in any way negatively. -- Ted Wright (11/7/2013)

Major Jason Junkens Visit To the Collinsville Middle School Current Events Classes --

Army Major Junkens was deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 for 2-3 years. His mission was to train Afghan troops working with the Americans there. The work was hot, dusty and dangerous but rewarding. He lost 6-8 soilders in his unit but he was not wounded. Rocket attacks were numerous and he and his soilders would stack boxes filled with sand bags beside their tents to help provide some protection from the rockets. His troops would also go on patrols in Humvees and Ford Rangers. They would watch for explosive devices and snipers. Locals with both a weapon and a cell phone were specific targets. Roads were not really organized and vehicles & people traveled just about anywhere they wanted. Vehicles often ran into people, but the locals were told if they hit soilders they would be put in jail. Interpreters and money (and kids toys) were used to interact with the locals and soilders being trained. The Americans would shop for their food in the local markets (mostly beans and goats). The locals liked American currency as it was about 50 time more valuable than their "Afghani" currency. There was no real shop security and some merchants would buy from one tent shop and set up another nearby and sell the same items for a higher price. And "the tough get what they want". They had to negotiate prices on things they bought.

It was best to grow a beard and if they were honored to meet you they would rub your beard. They were training the Afghan soilders but would often adapt to use many of their own techniques in certain situations. They often drove civilian vehicles (mostly Toyotas) and wore civilian clothes. Rank was not always observed by the soilders being trained.

There were few hospitals. Many of the "modern' building from the Russian occupation had been destroyed. Women had to ride in the trunks of vehicles. The weather was similar to Arizona but less rain. Many people would live in tents but have a modern cell phone. Major Junkens was glad he went and would never trade the experience. He brought photos of "everything" to show the CMS students at his recent presentation.

Additional Ted Note: In hind sight, I wish I had asked a few more questions, but I feel the students provided a pretty good description of what was presented. I also neglected to get names for two of the students, but the others were Carrington, Reece, Kendra and Preston. Mrs. Rowden did add that Junkens worked with the ROTC at NSU. If anyone thinks I've left out something important or made an error ... let me know. --

This web site is brought to you by the Newspaper Museum In Collinsville and the other advertisers appearing on these pages. If you would like to provide news content or advertisements ... contact Ted Wright via
1110 W. Main, Collinsville, OK 74021

Frequently Asked Questions
(email questions/comments to
Ted Wright -- last update 11/7/2013 (CMS-CurrentEventsJunkins.html)

Copyright 2013 -- Collinsville, Oklahoma