In Country — Day 1:


A predator flies across the Afghan sun

A predator flies across the Afghan sky

Well, my journey has finally brought me into the dust bowl that is Afghanistan. A C-130 loaded with Marines, Soldiers and eight Airmen skidded to a halt on the Kandahar Airfield late last night.

I haven’t made it yet though. Oh no, I still have to wait for a helicopter ride to take me to my final destination a few hours from the Airfield. I might be here a couple weeks…

If you ever wondered what around-the-clock construction looks like, stop by sometime. Kandahar currently can’t keep up with the surplus of military and contractors pouring in daily to this base. It’s unbelievable how many people they have here. The evidence of the Presidents surge to Afghanistan is clear by the thousands of men and women living in tents and in some cases, rather substandard living.

A group of Soldiers waiting to go to a forward operating base had to sleep on cots under the stars for two weeks because their weren’t enough tents for them. New living quarters are being built daily, they just can’t keep up with the influx.

We didn’t sign up for comfortability though and they are taking advantage of it. It’s still not all that bad here. They’ve done a great job of bringing a little taste of home all the way here to the Middle East. It surprises me that Burger King, Subway and Pizza Hut can find it’s way into this country and still taste like the food was cooked or pulled fresh out of a stateside oven.

Moondust: Let me tell you about the dirt here. Picture grabbing a handful of the finest sand you’ve ever seen and throw it up in the air. That’s what it’s like walking around here. You step out of your vehicle and you feel like Godzilla as 2-3 inches of dust shoot up from the ground with each step. Apparently there are mountains outside of the base, but with the dust in the sky; I have yet to see them.

I’m still not complaining. In fact, I’m looking forward to the next six months. All of us who joined the military signed knowing we would be put into this position — eventually. You might as well keep an optimistic outlook on the adventure and make the most of it.

Internet is a rare commodity around here and the wireless connection is less than reliable. That being said, I’ll do my best to keep this current. Thanks for all of the encouraging comments and e-mails. If you have any questions about Afghanistan, the military or just want to chat, comment on this post and we’ll keep in touch.

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3 Responses to “In Country — Day 1:”

  1. Moon dust…that’s what I remember about Afghanistan…all the way back in 2002. It was the consistency of talcum powder. I guess it hasn’t changed. Story at the time was the dust is created primarily by the constant use of mine-clearing heavy equipment in and around the base. I’m not so sure that’s true, but it’s certainly plausible…you’ll agree if you happen to see one of those tractors, slinging chains, throwing Afghani terra firma hundreds of feet into the air. Just a word of advice…stay on the beaten path and heed all “danger” signs :-)

    p.s. Did you pass through PERSCO at Bagram? If not, where is your PERSCO?

  2. Very cool photo Justin! What kind of camera do you have? I can’t imagine all of that dust is going to be good for your camera, but I am sure the memories and sharing a glimpse into your life over there are worth it. Thank you again for the updates and I will be “praying you through”!

  3. Angela, Bryan, and Daniel Says:

    I can’t believe how long it takes to get there! I thought for sure you would be there in a day or two. This is why it is so good you are doing this because most of us have no idea what you guys go through to serve our country. I am praying for you, Jen, and the kids daily. I hope you can do some sort of video call so you can see the family. I cannot imagine being away from Daniel and Bryan for that long. So, again, thank you so much for what you are doing. And way to keep a positive outlook on everything!! :)

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