as of 31 DEC 12:

I am no longer a deployed Soldier and have returned to my ‘real’ life.  It is surprising how much has changed and how little has changed all at once…how can that be?

It is great to be home and I would like to continue to use this blog to share pictures I take a few thoughts or two.  I have been home approximately 3 months and have only posted a few times, so I guess we will see how this goes…

Thanks for looking!


I will leave the following information for historical context –

I am just another Soldier spending time away from my ‘real’ life.  My blog has turned out to be more of an outlet to share some of my pictures than my thoughts, which is probably a good thing.  I do not get any enjoyment from writing.

I really enjoy taking pictures and it brings a smile to my face when I hear that others like them as well.  I am not a photographer, but I do have a great camera.  I am attempting to learn more about the art of picture taking so I can consistently have great photos, but I don’t want to turn it into something that is no longer enjoyable.  I do not do post-processing.  I have tried a little in the past & it just makes the experience seem like work.  Every once in a while I will crop a photo, but I would guess that is much less than 1% of the pictures I post.  I never adjust color, contrast or anything else.  The pictures are what they are.

I am always open to suggestions on what you would like to see/read or how to make either one better.  Thanks for reading, I really appreciate the support.

Everything posted here is my opinion and in no way reflects an opinion, thought or representation of anyone else or any organization.

186 responses »

  1. Thanks for the following 😉
    Always find far away distant places intriguing
    Happy Sunday

  2. eggersonian says:

    I too just recently started blogging (actually the same day you did!). Good luck with your blog and stay safe!

  3. Thanks so much for following and liking my post! I look forward to following your journey—keep posting and be safe!

  4. Thank you so much for following me! What you’re doing for our country is amazing! I told my husband while he’s over seas he should do the same thing. I can’t wait to read more of what you’re going through and see all your amazing photos 🙂

  5. anaslense says:

    Thanks for the following! I will also follow you! I will pray that you stay safe!

  6. Elisa says:

    Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the follow. Also thank you for serving our country! You’ll be a great blogger because you have such an interesting story to tell, through both your words and amazing pictures. Good luck and stay safe. 🙂

  7. Froe says:

    This is lovely, I’ll make sure to follow your stories x

  8. Welcome to Word Press… I hope you will enjoy the company of the bloggers here.
    See you around!

  9. laz says:

    First of all, I want to THANK YOU so much for what you and your troops are doing for all of us!!! I never had that opportunity to say something like this but honestly, al of guys and gals are putting your life on the line for us!!! Ever so gratefull! Now, your images are amazing! Following your blog is going to be an amazing journey! The blog world is pretty cool and you get to meet so many talented and great people! You also get to feel inspire by their work as well. Best of luck and stay safe!!!! Laz

  10. mothergrogan says:

    You’ve become a part of my history Dan. Thanks!

  11. Hello Danbohmer!
    Since I think you like blogging I thought you would like this invitation!

    I just tagged you!
    If you want to play that game, hit the link!

  12. Jude says:

    Hi Dan, you may not have time for this, but it would be interesting to hear your responses!
    I just tagged you!
    If you want to play that game, hit the link!

  13. gracefully50 says:

    Hi Dan!
    Thank you so much for your services for our country! I think your blog is wonderful…a small window to the world where we can get a glimpse of what you are experiencing. I will be sure to check back often. God bless you, and be safe!

  14. Celina says:

    I love our American Soldiers, thank you so much for all you do! I know it’s so hard being away from your families and all that you sacrifice for the love of God and Country. We love you, appreciate you and pray for you! God Bless you all!

  15. zannyro says:

    Hi! I just wanted to come by and thank you for following me! Now I can follow you 🙂
    I also wanted to add my thanks for your service and for all that you and your fellow soldiers do for us….there are a LOT of grateful people out there, I’m afraid you may not hear about that enough..We’re all behind you 🙂

  16. n campbell says:

    Hi Dan
    I just stumbled across your blog when I was searching for info on FOB Apache. We have belonged to Soldiers Angels and Hugs for Heroes for years “adopting” servicemen thru their deployments. Our latest adopted person is at Apache so I was trying to find out a little about what items we should send him. Your blog is a big help.

  17. Mona says:

    Dan, Thank you for stopping by my blog. I like what I see on yours and look forward to more. Thank you for the hard work that you do for us and our country. ~Mona

  18. hodgepodge4thesoul says:

    Greetings and Blessings, Dan – thank you so much for taking the time to visit and follow my blog. I don’t know how you found it, but I’m glad you did. Hope what you find will bless you. I’m looking forward to reading more from you, too.

    Most importantly, thank you for your service to this county – I appreciate you so much 😀

  19. I am honored to have the opportunity to follow your journey. Thanks for visiting my sight so I could find yours!

  20. alotonyourplate says:

    Thank you for serving and protecting our country. with 2 grandfathers that served in many wars, i always support the troops. thank you for stopping by my blog, ill be sure to be following yours. stay safe 🙂

  21. Danny says:

    Thank you for all that you and your fellow soldiers are doing miles and miles away from your homes. Hopefully all the blogs you follow (and quirky videos some of us are posting) bring a little levity to your days and thank you for sharing your experiences as well! Be safe!

    • danbohmer says:

      I do enjoy reading & seeing what others are posting, I have found many interesting things over the last few months since I joined the blog community

  22. Tom says:

    If I would be one of these islamic assholes who wish to free the world of liberty, I would follow your blog too. Isn’t there a problem for a soldier-blogger with secrets and security?
    Greetings and best wishes for a save return
    from Tom

    • danbohmer says:


      Short Answer: No.

      Long Answer: You can read or look at all that I have posted here and you will quickly discover there is no secrets or security issues with any of it. There are many blogs and other sources of information, official and unofficial that provide significantly more information than anything I have every considered posting.

      I appreciate your concern, but I have been doing the Army thing for a very long time…I think I have it figured out…

  23. Thanx a lot for visiting my blog! U too got a pretty awesome blog here.
    U know have a soft corner for soldiers and fighters alike. 🙂

  24. Great job with the blog! I will definately continue to follow it. Please stay safe and thank you!

  25. Stay safe, keep taking the photos and thanks for following my blog, hope you continue to enjoy!

  26. Thank you for following my blog i will follow your’s also i will call back.

    My son served in Iraq for a year.

  27. I wanted to thank you for your service on this Memorial Day. A dear friend of mine is in the Army and I know he is saddened by the loss of his fellow soldiers/friends. My thoughts and prayers are with you on this day and every day.

  28. vandysnape says:

    You have a great blog and love all the pictures 🙂 Happy posting !

  29. boomiebol says:

    Thank you for your service 🙂

  30. teabuddy says:

    Sending you good thoughts and a very special Indian blessing to keep you safe. Thanks for popping by my blog. Know at all times how very much we remember and appreciate your service.

  31. Thanks for visiting my blog. I have a special place in my heart for those who serve. I have oftened been touched…Ok moved to tears… by how Americans honour their military. I’ve seen standing ovations at airports and steady streams of civilians who take the time to say thank you. Canada has a ways to go but I always shake the hand of a soldier and thank them…maybe it’ll catch on 🙂 Sending good thoughts your way and am now following.

  32. […] Nine & a Half Hours Ahead Just another Soldier far from home Skip to content HomeAbout […]

  33. SanVar says:

    Thanks so much for joining SanVar FotoFun !!!
    You are our very special 100th buddy 🙂 🙂 Thanks sooo sooo much !!!! And we are glad to have found your blog this way,would love to know more about you and your life as a soldier ! Best Wishes !

  34. Jeff Vrabel says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Dan, but thanks mostly for the much more important Everything Else You Are Doing. Get home safe

  35. Ninali says:

    Thanks for stopping over and following. I really like what you have said here and I agree with keeping photography as a hobby. I love doing it because I can not because I have to 😉 Looking forward to following you and seeing through your eyes on the other side of the world. Oh and many many thanks for serving our country…I have the utmost respect for those that do 😀

  36. victoriajudy says:

    My husband was deployed a few years back. I know what it’s like to be separated from those you love the most. I appreciate every single soldier and family back home. Thank you for your service! And thanks for the follow. 🙂

  37. Hi there. Just wanted to take a moment to thank you for stopping by my blog and for deciding to follow along. More importantly, however, I would like to thank you for your service and the sacrifices you are making. I have the utmost respect for you and your family. My youngest son is currently at Fort Gordon awaiting orders which should be coming any day now. Being able to see your photos seems to ease the unknown just a bit. Thanks again. Stay safe. I hope your remaining time over there flies by. 🙂

  38. Margarita says:

    I understand why you have a photo blog. Mine became that accidentally, and I’m really enjoying it that way. Occasionally, when I feel I have words I’d like to share, I link the photo post to a written post in another of my blogs. That way the reader/viewer can exercise her/his options freely! All the best, M

  39. M & J says:

    I love your outlook on photography! Mine is the same, minus the great camera… My father is a professional photographer & I know a few things about both taking a great in camera shot as well as all that post editing… but in the end, i much prefer to simply shoot & share & shoot again. 🙂

    Thanks so much for following our God adventures at “Memories on the Journey”! We hope our stories inspire, encourage & challenge you on your journey… please DO join the conversation next time you stop in! -Be blessed & safe as you walk in Truth during your journey ‘away from your real life’! -jk

  40. Thanks kindly for the follow which in turn led me to you. So glad for that. Pics are great! I can’t believe you don’t enjoy writing! You are a gifted writer…..:)
    Cheers and Bless,
    (let the troops know they’re being hugged tightly in our hearts).

  41. thoughtsfromanamericanwoman says:

    I enjoyed your pictures and thank you for sharing them. I also have a facebook page for military moms and dads (although we have some spouses join us too) and I will be sharing your photos with the group. Most have children deployed or getting ready to go and I hope this helps them to see where their loved ones are. I will also add you to the military blog roll on my page. I look forward to seeing more of your pictures. You and your fellow soldiers are always in our prayers. I will also add you are all “being hugged tightly in our hearts” that is a nice sentiment Lee…I hope you don’t mind me borrowing it. Blessings Patty

  42. jaajaabor says:

    I have nominated you for ‘one lovely blog’ award. click here to see your nomination:
    have a wonderful day !

  43. emyannie says:

    What an absolutely wonderful blog! My husband is a pilot in the Air Force and I am constantly trying to get him to take my camera with him on his adventures. Thank you for your service… and your beautiful photography!

  44. thoughtsfromanamericanwoman says:

    I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. You can find it here: Blessings – Patty

  45. You’ve been nominated for the Fabulous Blog Award. There is no pressure to pay it forward. I just want to lead people to your blog. 🙂

  46. FeyGirl says:

    Can’t wait to investigate your site more thoroughly… I was raised an army brat in the middle of the South Pacific, flying in C130s with makeshift seats. Planning on adding more on life on Kwajalein, so your connection is synchronous. Lovely to meet you… So many thanks for your continued services for us all!!

  47. Jenny says:

    Wow. I am honored to have you following my blog! Dude, I appreciate everything you guys and gals are doing. God bless you. I can’t wait to delve into your blog and see what it’s all about. You are an inspiration.

  48. dianeroark says:

    I saw you on Bucket List today. I really do love your blog. I would love to put a link to your site on Recipes for Our Dialy Bread just send me a link. I would be thrilled for you to add my link to your site.

  49. thank you for the follow. I am looking forward to reading your blog and being inspired by your photos. Have a great day!

  50. manty67 says:

    I have nominated you for the Illuminating blogger award.
    I understand that you don’t normally respond or take part in this, however, I just wanted you to know that I find your blog very inspiring and your photo’s are brilliant.

    So please keep blogging 🙂

  51. cocoaupnorth says:

    Great blog you have, so inspiring and stunning collection of pics too.
    Thanks for dropping by my blog. Much appreciated!

  52. artsifrtsy says:

    You learn so much when you decide to shoot and not process. I did this for a year because I wanted to force myself to get the most out of my camera. It really does make the process more enjoyable. Nice blog.

  53. I’ve awarded you the Lovely Blog Award. Check it out here!

  54. Hey! I nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!! Go check it out 🙂

  55. andy1076 says:

    Hi Dan, Thank you for visiting my blog! stay safe 🙂

  56. the_lunatic says:

    Very glad I found your blog! Thank you for your service and I can’t wait to read more 🙂

  57. dilipnaidu says:

    Hello Dan,

    I am so happy to land here. Great to know you are soldier serving your great country. Armies all over the world have some wonderful values in common.

    As an ex Army soldier I greet you with a salute.


  58. Wow! Your blog almost brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for your service. I know what a sacrifice you are making. On my blog, I look like mot much more than a loud mouthed, pain in the ass social climber, but in real life, I’m a proud mom of a great bunch of kids. My middle son being an Army Reservist, who was deployed to Kuwait for a year when he was just 20. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and pictures. I’m sure your family is very proud of you and misses you terribly.

  59. faithfulnibbles says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and most of all thank you for servicing our country and being away from your family on our behalf. May God bless and keep you and may He bring you hope safely.

  60. First of all, thanks for stopping by my blog and for following. Especially because it led me to yours. You do have a wonderful and meaningful blog here, and you take some really good pictures!

  61. Dan, I’m so honored that you stopped by my silly blog and found a couple of things to like. My family thanks you for your service, and we’re looking forward to following you and seeing more of your pictures. Blessings to you.

  62. You have an amazing blog and I have nominated you for a One Lovely Bog Award. If you’re interested you can find the rules of acceptance at:

  63. inés de l'orange says:

    Just realized you’re a fan of photography! Or should I say photographer? I failed Photography back in College, BUT I love collecting them! Yours are intense and from what I’ve seen so far, you manage velocity and composition pretty well. 🙂

  64. Gary says:

    Dan, congrats on less than a month to go! I know you are busy. I nominated you for one of those pesky awards. Do as time or inclination allows. Your work, your service is inspiring, humbling.

  65. Dan, I came to your site via Gary. Thank you for your service, and for sharing your insights with us ‘back home’. I have been a full time caregiver to my 91 year old WWII veteran mom for the past few years. She passed away on July 28, and our country lost a great treasure. She has shared the legacy of the doors she opened for female soldiers and I was very proud of her, she was even featured in a documentary NO Equal. Through her, I have had the privilege of being involved in many events honoring veterans in our town. I will keep you in my prayers for the next thirty days and beyond. Blessings to you, your fellow soldiers, and your family back home. Beth

    • danbohmer says:

      First, my condolences on the loss of your mother. She sounds like an incredible lady. Second, thank you for stopping by and your very kind words

  66. I never thought I would see beautiful pictures of a war zone.

  67. Marianne says:

    I´ve added you as one of my two “Featured Blogs” on this month´s CBBH Photo Challenge. I always enjoy visiting your blog and hope that you gain some well-deserved extra followers as a result of this month´s Challenge.

    You can read all about it here

  68. mars6995 says:

    I have a surprise for you. I just nominated you for the Seven Things About Me Award! Congratulations! Please check out my blog to see what to do to accept this nomination:

    Good luck!

  69. […] have been so inspired by the beautiful landscape photographs taken by Dan in Afghanistan at “Nine & a Half Hours Ahead” that I couldn’t help but to try […]

  70. Tim Foxley says:

    Dan, just wanted to say hi and thanks indeed for regularly reading and “liking” my blog!



  71. I like that you don’t ‘adjust’ your photos. I like to know that what I’m looking at is “as is”.
    I’ll be back! I’m FAR from alone when I say “Thank you for your service.”

    My Dad’s a Korean War veteran. We’ll be at the RI VA Hosp. for the better part of the day this week. I leave with recollections some of the vets share. I wish they would write them down. They’re important. How will people know otherwise?

    May the favor of the LORD be upon you personally, and may His favor rest on your family back home. Peace. ~Beth

  72. Kimberly says:

    Thanks for serving us so well. I’d be honored if you’ll look me up when you come home for the following reason: Your photos should be compiled in a book. I would love to work with you to write the copy to accompany them from your perspective…your story about your experience. I can send you some writing samples, aside from my blog (which is it’s own animal.) I hope you’ll consider it.

  73. Judy says:

    First I have to thank you for your service. I know how difficult it is for you and your family for you to be in harms way. I am an army brat with my father and both grandfathers having been in the service. Besides and life time of moving from one army base to another..which I loved….my strongest memories were made in the Philippines when we lived on Clark Field while Dad did his second tour in Vietnam. I feel glad that with your pictures you are able to capture the human side as well as the military side of what you are experiencing. The young airmen I knew back then were like that too inspite of very harrowing circumstances.

    Very much secondly, I do thank you for stopping by my photo journal.

    My thanks to you and your family.

  74. iwitnesslife says:

    Thank you so much for your service! My father learned photography while in the Navy. He was just a teenager. You never know where it will lead…. !luck, be safe, beautiful work

  75. Hi Dan,
    I’ve nominated you for an award: the Reader Appreciation Award!


  76. On this day, sir, I salute you. Thank you for all that you have done. Clear skies, my friend.

      • Chris says:

        my son leaves Thurs from Ft Stewart. Not sure what your job was over there was but what is a normal day like over there for non-infantry personnel (his MOS is IT).

      • danbohmer says:

        I am sorry, there is no way I could describe a ‘normal’ day for anyone because what is a normal day depends on hundreds of things – from the type of unit you are assigned to to the specific FOB you live at.

  77. Shawn says:

    Hey there, just a quick question that I can’t seem to find the answer to anywhere: what are the living conditions on FOB Sweeney? Like is it CHUs or tents and the like? Thanks for the available info!

  78. Suellen Morgan says:

    Hi Dan – I was so excited to find your Blog. My son is a Navy Seabee and was stationed at Leatherneck, but has been at FOB Apache for almost a month now on a construction project. It was great to read your description helping explain where it is at. I would love to find others to communicate with with who have children/spouses serving in that areas. I am happy to share my email address if that would be appropriate on here.

    Are you still active duty?

  79. Tovah says:

    I too have a soft spot for soldiers, being a Mother of two myself. Although I wish we didn’t need them & lived in a peaceful world Photography is something I’m becoming very fond of, since my kids bought me a great little camera for my birthday. It’s just one of those like ‘photography for dummies’ things, but takes really good pics, no matter what I do.
    Be safe and blessings for everything you do. Tovah

  80. Lisa Dempsey says:

    My nephew is now at FOB Apache and want to send him things that would make his life (and others) a little better. Can you suggest items to send?

    • danbohmer says:

      I liked chips, sausage and cheese sticks, prebaked pizza crusts and all the fixings to make room temperature pizzas, Mountain Dew, M&Ms, cashews, almonds, pistachios, licorice. The are thousands of books everywhere, movies can be bought for $1 or $2. Hard candy, Girl Scout cookies baby wipes and toothpaste are an over stock item at just about every FOB I spent time on.

  81. Suellen says:

    Directed to Lisa — My son is at Apache now as well – I was wondering what branch of service your nephew is with? My son was told his mail should still be sent to Leatherneck and would be held there for him to return. He is a Navy Seabee and was told it was too expensive and time consuming for the military to forward his mail to Apache for the two months he would be there. I hope you are able to send packages to your nephew directly to Apache. My son is scheduled to head back to Leatherneck around Christmas. Best wishes to your family.

    • danbohmer says:

      Well what you & your son were told is not accurate. It would be no more expensive to send mail to Apache vs. Leatherneck. I would guess what they mean is the Seabees move around a lot and it would be too difficult to know when/where they will be to try to keep their mailing address updated. However, if their unit wanted to get them their mail while out they could & it really isn’t too expensive (there are flights & convoys moving around all the time that can be used) but it would take some effort on the parent unit to do it. But it can be done.

      When i was at Apache, our mail was sent to Lagman (about 3 miles away). However, when i left, Apache was in the process of a huge expansion, with the plan to close Lagman and move all operations from there to Apache. So by now Apache should be getting their mail directly (it all goes through Kandahar).

      With that all said, mail delivery is not the most reliable, I received letters & packages in as little as 5 days from the time they were sent to others taking more than 2 months and others never making it. In fact just last week a card my son mailed to me for Father’s Day (early June) showed up at home as a ‘Return to Sender’ last week – it took 4 months to go to Afghanistan and get sent back home…

      • Dempsey Family says:

        Thanks very much. This information is most helpful. Enjoy the holidays with your family.

        On Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 8:55 AM, Nine & a Half Hours Ahead wrote:

        > ** > danbohmer commented: “Well what you & your son were told is not > accurate. It would be no more expensive to send mail to Apache vs. > Leatherneck. I would guess what they mean is the Seabees move around a lot > and it would be too difficult to know when/where they will be to tr” >

  82. Sue Bowers says:

    Hi, I just found your blog. I have been sending letters and packages to the military for about 2 years now. If there is anything that I can do for you or any member of you team, please do not hesitate to let me know. I appreciate everything that you do. I just sent a letter and a package to a serviceman at Apache. Who knows when and if he will get it. I never had any trouble sending things to Kandahar or Kuwait, but it took longer to the FOBs. Thank you for your Service, it is so much appreciated.

    • danbohmer says:

      Thank you for all you do support the Soldiers, it really is appreciated. Mail delivery is very erratic. I have had things arrive in as little as 5 days. Typically it seemed like 10-14 days was the norm to reach FOB Apache.

  83. Congratulations! I’ve awarded you the Blog of the Year Award 2012! Check it out here:

  84. Melanie says:

    I like the new name. I’m looking forward to seeing you posting more again.

  85. Greetings from Australia Dan,
    I sincerely wish you all the best settling back into family life. Firstly I’m happy that you made it back home in good health. I like your sincerity and honesty, and would encourage you to live from the heart what you’re passionate about. Sharing our thoughts and life experiences is what makes us human, a community that needs one another.
    God bless you and your family

  86. Thank you for your service! And, howdy from Nashville!

  87. Mona says:

    Welcome Home!

  88. valentina says:

    Hello, there!!! Although you’ve been somewhat absent, I truly hope you don’t mind me nominating you for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award:

  89. I have nominated you for the Sunshine Award:D Check it out on my site!

  90. Martin Leppert COL (R) says:

    Dan I actually gave the FOB its name “Apache” back in March 2006 when it was a tiny ETT Brigade FOB. The Name came to me from the old John Wayne movie. It just seemed to click for me and my staff at the time. I redeployed in March 2007. We were alone and unafraid back then with only Spartan facilities and only one plussed up US Brigade spread across the entire country. the only real comfort we had was the small tiki hut we built in the center of the base and we had the large shell MWR / Gym facility we built out from the tents we started in. It was the wild west back then!! However Like you I found harsh beauty in a land filled with so much violence. My favorite place to find some quiet peaceful minutes was the view from Tower #3 looking to the northwest at sun set. It reminded me of all that was waiting for me back home and helped focus me and steel me for the next days missions. Glad you are back safe and sound. Hope you have made a good adjustment to life back home. I am writing my memoirs of my year in command down there, hope to self publish at some point. All the best Warrior!! Thunderbolt 06

    • danbohmer says:

      Great to hear from you Sir, I think I met you at Atterbury on our way out of country. I look forward to your memoirs, I bet it will be an interesting read.

  91. Merci pour suivre mon blog. Ayez un grand mardi ! ! ! d–0.o–b Ciao!!!

  92. Kimberly says:

    Old offer still stands to write and/or edit for you should you decide to document your experiences in a book. Check out more at for lots of writing samples. Just because I have been inspired, I also started a photo blog for fun. This whole picture-taking thing is pretty cool. Unlike you, I post cropped but otherwise unaltered photos. Love the pictures of your new son. How wonderful. Congratulations!

  93. Dan, not sure I know how to get a hold of you…could you drop me a line at lheikkila (at) I’d like to connect you with someone at CHS who has asked me about any still photos I have from my time in AFG. Mine were taken with an iPod. They want to put their Emmy award on display and a few photos have been requested. Not sure there’s $$$ in in for you, but at the least there would be some photo credit provided. Let me know if this interests you, if so my follow up question would be to ask you to select 6 of your favorite mission representative shots. Hope all is well….Luke

  94. danbohmer says:

    No problem with them wanting to use the pictures. It may take a while for me to wade through to select 6…

  95. carl says:

    Hi Dan, I enjoyed pictures from Mescall. I was there in 2011 and 2012 as an electrician.The pics of the dogs brought back memories..Thanx for your service and hope all is well.

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