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.


November 01, 2009

Name: K
Posting date: 11/2/09
Returned from: Afghanistan
Milblog: Embedded in Afghanistan


Marine: “Since we just had an IED blow up outside the base, just down there in the town, I think we should search the town down there.”

ANA commander: “No, not a good idea.”

“Yes, it is a good idea. We can’t let them get that close to us. The villagers at least need to know that if they aren’t our eyes and ears out there, then we’ll put them through some inconvenience by searching their homes.”

“I don’t want to do it.”

“I know you don’t but we have to.”

“Couldn’t do it even if I wanted to because we already made the schedule and a search of that town is not on the schedule for this week.”

“Right, but this little operation is based on new information. Remember what we talked about changing operations based on new information and intelligence?”

“Can’t do it and won’t do it.”

“Ok, I’ll give you one phone card to call your family with if you do the op.”


“Two phone cards.”


“Two phone cards and I’ll buy a cow for the soldiers.”

“Can’t do it.”

“Ok, two phone cards, a cow, and we’ll find you a new wife. Plus I’ll throw in a summer house in Nuristan.”

(laughing) “Seriously, we’re not doing that operation.”



Apache Pilot: “I got a guy on my scope moving all nimbly-bimbly through the trees!”

Air controller on the ground: “Yeah, that’s probably a monkey.”


Marine: “How come every officer I meet claims he was a commander during the war against the

ANA mullah: “Because some of us were.”

Marine: “Maybe, but not Commander Hanif here. He looks way too young to have been commanding anything during those times. Maybe he was the chai boy.”

Commander Hanif: “You may be right.”


ANA officer: “We’ve got intel that the base is going to be attacked tonight.”

Marine: “Sounds like a great opportunity to kill some people -- but how are we going to prepare for this?”

“We are at stand-to.”

"What does that mean?”

“It means we are ready.”

“Are there more soldiers on duty? Are they sleeping in their gear?”

“No. None of that. But we are ready.”

“Yes, but are we doing anything differently than before?”

“Yes, we are ready now.”

“Well, alright then.”


Unknown insurgent on handheld radio: “I am going to do something.”


Marine: “Hello there Haji Z. Been awhile.”

Haji Z: “Here you are. Where have you been? I didn’t give you permission to leave my valley.”

Marine: “Ah, yes, but I have to take orders from someone and can’t always be where I want to be.”

Haji Z: “Let me talk to this person!”


ANA officer: "You know what would help us? A tank! We need a tank out here."

Marine (egging him on): "Oh yeah? A tank? Great idea! How would we employ a tank here exactly?"

"Easy. We'll just drive it around and the Taliban will shoot at it. Then we'll shoot them with the big gun."

"Hmm. You sure we can drive a tank around this valley? It's kind of narrow and the roads might not hold a tank."

"Oh, we don't really need to drive it anywhere. We can just park it out there somewhere."

"Doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose of a tank?"

"No. No. It would work great."

(laughing) "You guys need tanks in the Korengal about as badly as you need a navy."

(petulant) "If you Americans cared about us you'd get us tanks out here."

(placating) "Okay, okay. We'll see what we can do."


That's some great stand-up comedy you posted. Oh, you mean it's not the product of a writer's imagination? SIGH.

Some things are so funny you don't have to make them up,... you just repeat them with a straight face!

Hang in there! Remember:

Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

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