BULGARIA
Came to Sofia, Bulgaria for a Mil to Mil exchange seminar.  We, as Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians were invited by
the Bulgarian armed forces in order to facilitate an information exchange.  We gave detailed briefs to their Engineer Corp and
they in turn did the same for us.  Working with former Warsaw Pact countries is interesting.  This was 2001 and Bulgaria was
still working through it's transition from the Soviet style of leadership to one more Western.  There officers refused to ask me
direct questions, and they simply couldn't get their heads around the fact that an NCO had so much authority and autonomy.  
During my brief, they would ask my commander questions about MY brief.  Very frustrating.  However, the trip was very nice.  
We sampled some excellent food, toured Plavdiv, and Pleven where we took a boat ride down the Danube.  The Bulgarians
are very friendly, and like all the Eastern European countries, their woman are sinfully beautiful.  I would travel back their two
more times after this mission.
The young man you see in the red shirt is Adam Harding.  Adam was killed in November
2001 while supporting Train and Equip operations in Nigeria.  He was not killed by an IED,
or anything as familiar as what we see today, but instead during a very typical UXO
operation.

As luck would have it, in 2001 Adam and I were always together on missions; BULGARIA,
SPAIN, and we vacationed in Denmark together.  He was there for me during some pretty
bad times in 2001.

He was my best friend.  Not a day goes by where I don't think about him, or while still at
the 702nd, wonder when he'd come through the door back to work.