Captain Mike Nicholson; Kabul, Afghanistan

CPT, US Army ISAF Press Information Center

CPT, US Army ISAF Press Information Center

Q. What country/area are you stationed in? A. I?m currently working for NATO in the ISAF mission in Kabul, Afghanistan. Q. What is your primary duty? A. I am a US Army Public Affairs officer that works in the Media Ops section of the ISAF HQ Press and Information Center. We talk with the media on a daily basis, set up weekly press conferences, and try to encourage coverage of all the good things that are being accomplished by the international community. Q. What has been the most rewarding experience from your time abroad? A. Being able to interact with the local Afghans is extremely rewarding. I just recently escorted a group of media up to the city of Feyzabad in northern Afghanistan to cover the opening ceremony of a new school. It was a very rural place with houses made of brick and mud. And ISAF built this brand new schoolhouse up there. Many of the locals had never seen a digital camera or video camera and were just amazed to see their own pictures on the camera screens when we would show them. Q. What do you miss most about the states? A. I have been living overseas for about the last 8 years in both Korea and Europe, so it has been a while since we have actually lived in the states. The thing I miss most right now would obviously have to be my wife and family. Q. When do you expect to be home? A. I should be back in our current home in Brunssum, Netherlands near the end of January and will be lucky enough to be around when our first son or daughter is born. Q. Who would you like to send your holiday wishes to? A. I would like to send holiday messages to all my friends and family in the US, Europe and Korea. This is a special Christmas because even though I?m away, I get to see what we are bringing to these people over here ? education, electricity, heat, and all the other basic living needs. Most of us have so much when we compare our lives to those living over here in Afghanistan. Of course I miss being around my family during the holidays, but being able to be a part of what?s going on over here is very gratifying on both a professional and personal basis. Q. What is different about communicating to a US audience, and communicating where you are stationed? A. I work in NATO, which is a multinational environment and has many people who are speaking English as their 2nd or 3rd language. At the same time, we are all currently working in a country that speaks primarily Dari and Pashtu, so language is a big challenge. Being a native speaker, it is easy to communicate with other English speakers because we have such a wide vocabulary. In this environment, you often have to be able to use very basic English and still be able to communicate your information effectively. Q. Do you enjoy what you do? Why? A.I love my job. You get to see so many things and interact with so many different people on a daily basis. I work with many different soldiers and officers from North America and Europe in the HQ, and work with journalists and locals from Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. I come over here periodically from the NATO HQ in the Netherlands to support the ISAF Press & Information Center, and I get to see the dramatic changes that are taking place in this country every time I come back.

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