In and Out of Bagram

 I’m currently at the USO in Bagram. We all made it here with no problems.The landing was rough, but none the less we arrived safely. Stepping off the plane and walking across the flight line knowing I had finally made it to the actual war zone was an indescribable feeling. We were met by an Army MSgt who took us to a small tent, gave us a short briefing about what we needed to do to in-process Bagram and get scheduled for our next flight to Kabul.

Shortly after in-processing, myself and some other Public Affairs folks met up and made our way to the passenger terminal where we got ourselves scheduled for a flight leaving here around 0300. It’s only 2200 or 10:00pm, so it looks like we will be trying to get some rest here at the USO while we wait for our flight out. I’m super stoked because I’m starving and I just found some Combos in my 72 hour bag that I had shoved in there a few days ago. Alex and I discovered while we were in Philly that Combos are the answer when looking for a quick fill you up type of snack! A few hand fulls of Combos and a bottle of water and your all set for a good 3 hours or so.

That will wake you up

 We were just woken up by mortar attacks about 45 min ago. The first mortar hit out on the flight line. It made a deep boom sound and a really bright flash. Not even a second later, alarms set up through out the post started to sound off, alerting everyone to take some type of cover. There are several bunkers set up around post, but for some it was best to stay where they were which is what we did. Two more mortars struck the flight line after that. The word right now is one casualty so far. The USO is right off the flight line so we are lucky we didn’t get hit. We found out that they get rocketed and mortared here about three to four times a week. Perhaps, this is something they could have told us when we got here during our initial briefing. As of right now we are standing by. All flights are on hold until everyone is accounted for and the flight line is clear. Being that close to the strike and being caught off guard is an unnerving feeling. I’ve got to stay on my toes.

After the last mortar hit the SSgt next to me said “Are you at the beginning of your tour or the end?” I responded, “beginning sir.” He said”me too. What a way to start our six months huh?” I laughed and said, “Yeah, well guess we might as well get deep into it now. My final destination is Kandahar.” He looked up quickly, his smile dropped, and he said “Kandahar??” Dang. You take care of yourself out there.”

All Clear

The flight line is clear. All the wounded and the one fatality have been taken care of. Pilots have gotten the ok to press. We just palletized our gear. We are obviously still in full battle gear with our weapons.We should be getting on the aircraft in about 30 min. We will be en route to Kabul, which we are told is about a 15 to 20 min flight. I’m wide awake and ready to go. We are due to arrive in Kabul around 0630.

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2 Comments

  1. Kenny,

    You have no idea how I treasure each blog update. You’re descriptive writing is outstanding…you know what an avid reader I am and your blog rates right up there with the best! You truly paint a picture with words. You would not believe the number of people who are following your blog, anxiously waiting for the next update (small victory?) You Rock Dude!

    We love you and needless to say we are so proud of you! Mortars already? Dang. Dad said always look right, left will take care of itself…it’s you dad, what can I say 🙂

    Stay alert and take care of yourself…God’s got your back…best wingman to have 🙂

    Waiting for the next blog update…award-wining stuff!

    LDH

  2. Wow!

    I’m sitting here in my cozy recliner watching First Knight with Richard Gere and checking my email. I saw the new posting to your blog and clicked on it immediately. The goose bumps are still bulging from my arms after reading your story…makes me wish you were at home with Alex curled up on a sofa watching it too.
    Please do stay on your toes and like I said before keep your head up, eyes open, and tonight when I say my prayers you and the others that are there to give us the ability to feel cozy will be the first on my list.

    Stay safe,
    Phyllis Tollett


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