Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Boots on the Ground

In the process of Googling "Kabul Green Zone map", I discovered the blog "Five Star Foxhole", documenting the experiences of its author K.C. over his six month deployment. I specifically recommend his description of Camp Eggers.

K.C. is a far more energetic blogger than I will ever be. He also has a better attitude, for many reasons I won't go into, and a few reasons I will: (1) he appears to be a True Believer (I am not); (2) he specifically volunteered for this assignment (I did not); and (3) he arrived in the summer. In the winter time, the Afghans burn everything for fuel, most conspicuously their own excrement. Kabul is thus suffused in a miasma of smog that makes 1970s Los Angeles look edenic.

Otherwise . . . I promised y’all art.  So:bagram_mountains

Bagram Airfield.  For a second I thought I was in Colorado Springs.  I was not fooled for long.


The old Soviet control tower.  It is sobering to think of past failures.


There’s a war on.  The air is too toxic to wear contact lenses, let alone breathe.  But, by gawd, you better not smoke or forget your seatbelt!


These little shacks, called B-huts, house most of the soldiers at Bagram.


The two trainers in the foreground are the outdoor toilets and showers.  Behind them to the right is “Hotel California”, where the transients slept.  No heat.  No blankets.  Tough it out.  Or sleep in a chair at the MWR.


I bought this propaganda myself for years.


Convoy to Kabul.  I was riding in a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle similar to the one in the background.  My luggage rode in the panel truck immediately behind us, driven by an Afghani.


They taught us that “disturbed earth” was a sign of an IED.  Oh.  Crap.


A roadside market maybe?


A roadside motel?


The Afghan landscape is littered with mud-wall fortresses, of which this is a largish example.


In Kabul.  If you look close, you will see that this is a billboard for Coca Cola.  Remember the 70s jingle?

I’d like to teach the world to sing,
In perfect harmony . . .


Anonymous said...

Awesome photos, Phi. Stay safe, and give us more when you can.

Elusive Wapiti said...

Take care over there, and thanks for the photos!

Default User said...

Great pictures and interesting commentary, thanks.