Thursday, November 24, 2011

Another Bad Morning

FOB Joyce, Kunar Afghanistan – Combat Outpost Nevada

Ok, getting caught with your pants down whilst under attack is bad enough, what the hell could be worse than that.

Take this morning, after a sleepless night and a chopper to catch further into the mountains to a remote Combat Outpost on a mountaintop in a couple of hours.

This was a good chance to have a shower before a few days of basically living in the dirt and having to ablute without porcelain, (a polite way of having to shit in a bag then throw into a fire pit to burn slowly).

So enjoying the warm caress of hot water cascading down, and feet slipping in my flip-flops.

The gentle hiss of water was broken by the deafening scream of the siren.

Incoming Waa Waa, Incoming Waa Waa

Great, f…ing fantastic bad enough getting caught with your pants down the other day, now buck naked in flip-flops in the shower.

So stumble out wrap the micro fleece towel around and collect my stuff and try to get back to the shelter. Out the door and naturally in wet feet slipping one of the flip-flops breaks within two steps.

Back at the tent, into clothes and then the reality if nothing has gone bang in the last few minutes. What the hell, I am going to get dressed.

Two minutes later the all clear is broadcasted, and life on the base returns too normal.

Half an hour later with kit packed ready to go and up at the landing zone waiting for the chopper to the Combat Outpost. I had managed to get to the DFAC and grab a cup of coffee and taken it up to the chopper pad. Putting it down on the bench I turned to watch a heavy lift chopper with a sling come into to transport fuel drums.

The down draught then hits and my coffee is basically flying through the end and naturally lands on my body armor at the end of the bench. Great what else can go wrong?

Then again it only takes a simple sign on the back of the Portaloo door to restore the Zen of the day, as they say.

I write this from the top of a mountain at the edge of the Pech Valley in Afghanistan, perhaps one of the most remote and dangerous places in this war zone. Food is no longer at a DFAC three times a day across the base, but is delivered in the morning on the back of a donkey.
Home for the next two days is in a pit depression on the mountain, with twelve soldiers and a lot of mountains around us.


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Thanks Mal. What more can we say.

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