The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.


December 22, 2008

Name: T.T. Carnehan
Posting date: 12/22/08
Stationed in: Afghanistan
Milblog: Long Warrior

It's the middle of the afternoon and the streets are a few degrees under bustling. You know you're supposed to be looking for a red sedan, but can't remember why. The MRAP* is cavernous, like the inside of a submarine, and there is a disco ball hanging from the ceiling. Somehow, the gunner has managed to hook up his iPOD to the intercom system, and as you scour the streets looking for a red VBIED, all you hear is Lesley Gore singing "Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows."

Without warning, you smoothly transition back to the FT Riley area. You're outside a piece-of-shit bar in Ogden known as The Rockhouse. The other vehicles in your element are gone and it's just your MRAP and your soundtrack. Like any good dream, nothing needs to make sense, so it seems perfectly reasonable that you're driving around Afghanistan in Ogden, Kansas.

You spot the red car. It's right next to you. Three girls wearing go-go outfits materialize out of the air, with short black hair, and start dancing your way. Now you're back in Afghanistan with a peppering of Pashtun men staring at you in a very uncommitted way -- the type of look that reminds you how little you have in common. One of the crew members invites the go-go dancers into the submarine/MRAP. Everyone is dancing and giggling inside, while the red car is parked close enough off the driver's side that you can read the VIN.

Then you wake up to a snowy morning. You pet the FOB dog and go about your business, all the while wondering if you should warn the rest of your team about a red car.

I thought it was Christmas, not Halloween.

Oh by the way, I saw a fully-loaded passenger bus with a pickup truck and a station wagon strapped to the roof. The bus was on a jack while the driver changed a tire. That was no dream.

* MRAP: Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle


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I've being reading your blog and found your post very helpful :) . I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog!

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