Carrie's War 2: Landing in Afghanistan | Buzz Blog

Friday, December 4, 2009

Carrie's War 2: Landing in Afghanistan

Posted By on December 4, 2009, 12:39 PM

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Sgt Carrie Mehr left for Afghanistan just after Thanksgiving. She's part of a postal unit that is emarking on a year-long tour. She's been stuck in Bagram, Afghanistan for three days, trying to fly out to her future military base, Jalalabad.---

"Bagram is a transient base," she writes. "Troops arrive, then are fielded out across Afghanistan. But with the influx of troops, and no infrastructure here, this place cannot handle them all. Troops are living in 140 plus man tents on cots with a few feet of space between. It's dirty, busy and largely overran. I was supposed to leave three days ago, but the weather forced us to turn around. I've slept in a chair in the post office or at one of the MWR places around base. Last night I got lucky and got a bed in one of the tents that has mattresses. Those were the best hours of sleep I've had in days."

She says she can't complain. She had a hot shower the day before last and hoped for another one last night. News from home, however, proves irksome. She was in the chow hall the other night and the news report talked "about the movement to ban tax payer money from being used for the war. Part of that money is my pay check as well as money for infrastructure."

Mehr says the troops arriving in Bagram are living on the brink of squalor. With President Obama's decision to send further troops, she says, "something has got to give. People are living on top of each other here already."

The next day, despite being 154th on the standby list, she got a seat on a plane and flew to Jalalabad -- or J-bad as she calls it. The military base is 3.7 miles round, which will make it boring to run around after a few weeks, she predicts.

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