“Why I Love Bagram!”

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Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan

As Washington debates the fate of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the 30,000 troops and others assigned to its main base — Bagram — north of Kabul are tending to more mundane matters. They’re leading the same sort of dreary lives, punctuated by horror and farce, that have defined soldiers’ lives in these parts since Alexander the Great came calling nearly 2,500 years ago. Check out their list of the more than 600 things that make Bagram special, including:

— Making sure I have a machine gun with me when I go eat

— The constant threat of instant death

— Air Force wearing unit/combat patches of people they only shake hands with.

— The traffic…who would of thought there would be traffic in a war zone

— The way that burning trash makes me homesick.

— Finance guys putting in for Combat Action Badges when a rocket lands 200 meters from their office while they are watching movies. WTF?

— Finding out that ‘frozen solid’ means fresh fruit in Arabic

— Because I can now spot a female jogging from over a mile away.

— Getting called a “Motha F***a” by the kids outside the wire and shot with a slingshot when I don’t give them cookies.

— Awkwardly standing there while you wait for those two jets to finish interrupting your conversation with the person standing two feet away from you.

— The fact that Army Strong obviously refers to the strength of the elastic on Army PT shorts.

— Seeing the sign for “Mortuary Affairs” before going out on mission…

— If you’ve got a beard & a weapon, relax, we already know your special forces. No need to play dumb when asked about your job or lie to me and say you’re a librarian.

— Disposable everything. From Paper towels to motivation.