People who think BFE is out in the middle of nowhere have never been to BFU.

Not much to this place. Nuclear blast-proof aircraft shelters, cracked Soviet concrete taxiways, plywood buildings, shipping containers, tents. Reminds me of North Fort Hood.

The streets are named for streets in Manhattan. The first action of Operation Enduring Freedom was staged out of here three years ago. It is still an important transit point supporting the GWOT further south. I’ll probably be through here again on my way back to the world. This installation is my introduction to this theater. They have a real nice Internet Cafe, airconditioned and not dusty at all.

Shorts are a no no here. Host nation sensitivities to display of bare naked legs, even male legs.

Saw a gray fox at a picnic table at the Green Beans Coffee not 10 feet from where I was standing my first morning there.

We sat in briefings all day, then just waited around for a plane ride. Our luggage came in from the capital city on a truck, and we had to unload it and drag it through the sand and gravel to our tents. Those little folding dolly carts that roll so well on the airport linoleum ain’t worth a crap in gravel.

The folks going to Bagram got their ride early the next morning. The Kandahar folks got told to pack up that afternoon. Built the pallet under the supervision of a real laid back Air Force Sergeant. Footlockers on the bottom, then duffel bags, then carry on bags, then sleeping bags, strap down the net, then tear it all apart because somebody who thought he was going to Kandahar is now going to Bagram and his stuff has to come off the pallet. Give up your ID Cards and get on the strange looking 20-seat Japanese bus. Sit on bus an hour. Go back to Transportation. Wait. Get back on bus. Get on C-130. Sit. Watch while the pallet, now sitting on the C-130’s loading ramp, is torn apart again to get somebody else’s stuff off. The Loadmaster is not laidback. After four and a half hours of trying to be gone, we leave.

Red nylon webbing for seating. I fall asleep. When I wake up the interior of the aircraft is darker than a bag of assholes. No lights at all. Pitch black. Land at Kandahar after about two and a half hours. Kandahar is not very impressive in the dark. It is not that impressive in the daylight, either. Walk off the ramp and get on another little Japanese bus. The Terminal Building has been condemned. We go to a plywood shack that serves as the terminal now. Forklift brings our pallet. We tear it down and get our stuff. White Mercedes truck comes. The bed is five feet off the ground. We must load our gear on this. Taken to a big white barn tent full of empty cots. Welcome to Candyland.


Filed under The Forgotten War

2 responses to “Stronghold

  1. She-who-must-be-obeyed

    Well Sweetie, it looks like you have finally made it to the to THE CRADLE OF CIVILATION. It appears they haven’t cleaned up yet. Must have been one hell of a christening party. You would think after a couple of millennia, they would at least sweep up the place for their new guests.

    How cool to see a fox on your first day there. The Fox is a symol of the forest and the mountains, the fox is concedered cunning, loyal, diplomtic, clever, gentle, and swift. A Fox denotes strategic talents and fretility of resources. I think that its a good omen, things are going to work out for you. Have you seen any other animals? Not including the ones you live with.

    It seems like a goat cluster with the luggage. Oh well, welcome to the military, hey, you should be use to by now. Wasn’t Korea about as much of a cluster and Germany was a big cluster, you didn’t even have a unit to go to. Baby, you can hang! This is just part of the adventure. Try to remember to write how you felt and all the smells and all the things you’ve seen.

    When your an old man you’ll have some really cool war stories. And it will take you years to run out of new stories, so I won’t say get a some new material for at least 10 or 15 years. 😉 LOL

    I’m so proud of you for trying something strange and new. Its very brave of you to try something new.

    Oh, by the way. I enjoyed your story very much. You write so well. I love how you write so vividly. I felt like I was with you the whole time. You are so talented.

    Thank you for the up dates I really enjoy them.

    I love you!
    your Goddess

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