Sunday, July 17, 2011

Afghanistan Through My Eyes - deployment Manus and Bagram

Writing about deployment brings so many feelings back. The first deployment you have the anxiety of what the war is going to be like. Of course you've seen pictures and heard stories, but nothing captures the reality and you know this. War is different for everyone. It's not only about the visuals, but about the sounds, the smells and the taste. These sensory perceptions will stay with you forever.

The second deployment you face the boredom. It is unbelievably boring and tedious to deploy. With an itinerary designed by the government it generally takes one week to get to your base "in country" where it takes a civilian about two full days. It's not because of the circuitous route and security issues, but because of the waiting. "Hurry up and wait." was definitely coined in the US Military.

Manus...waiting...notice the silk pillow.

Stuck in Bagram and making the best of it.

A troop knows what to expect during their deployment and it's almost unbearable. But a second deployment has it's advantages. You know more about comfort. Being in a foreign country where people want to kill you a person definitely wants to make their down time as comfortable as possible.