Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Dirt Roads and Potholes

It's been raining alot lately here at Bagram Airbase (BAF). I guess the initials are BAF because it was originally Bagram Air Field, but as it grew and grew and grew it became Bagram Airbase.

That's funny, because this post is all about how bad the roads are here at BAF. We've been here 9 years and the roads are terrible! Well, actually the road, singular. There's really only one paved road with a few side streets and branches. Otherwise, we walk or drive on gravel or dirt roads. And when it rains, the gravel roads fill with giant puddles and the dirt roads turn to....mud, of course. Walking to work today (I live one mile from where I work) I was circumnavigating puddles the size of hot tubs and attempting to find the narrow dry path down a muddy road when I remembered a tour I took in Seattle before I deployed. The guide described the early years of Seattle, when the roads were dirt and the houses were were wood and just navigating across the street was an adventure for the average person. Of course, it does rain occasionally in Seattle so those dirt roads must have frequently been a muddy mess. In many ways BAF is like a frontier town in the US 150 years ago. I wonder what a new arrival from New York or Philadelphia or Boston thought about Seattle in 1869? It was probably similar to what most of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines think when they arrive at BAF in the middle of the night after a long journey: "What a dump! What have I gotten myself in to now?".

I still don't have any pictures, but I think I've broken the code on that. Thanks to the advice of a friend I think I will have pictures up on the blog sooner rather than later! Yea! Thanks, Rejenia. :-)

And to Scratch, who asked about the American flags we wear on our uniforms; we wear Reverse American Flags so that when we are marching forward, and viewed from our right side, the flags appears to be waving in the wind. I'm not a general so I can't say who came up with that idea. The US Army is the only service that wears the flag in such a manner, I think. I'm sure it does look nice in a parade, but it looks awkward otherwise.

Well, it's time for bed amid the noise of the flightline just a hundred meters or so from my room. And if it rains tonight I will be back on the obstacle course again tomorrow, threading my way through the rocks and puddles to get to work.

Until later.

Phillips, out.


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