The night in Helmand was like many others. A good deal of standing or sitting around talking to people I know, kind of know, or met for the first time; some searching of the sky for familiar points; and the obligatory speech of what to expect. You know the kind, here's where you'll sleep, here's the bathroom, when you hear a round go by, it's the rockets from the other side of the airfield give it a minute and you'll hear a second if you don't come outside to the bunker because it wasn't one of ours. The usual stuff. For linens, I received two flat sheets. This wasn't a problem, all the way through Basic Training, AIT, and PLDC I had two flat sheets for my bed so I adjusted well.
After breakfast we went all the way around the airfield. The side of Camp Bastion we stayed on was east of the airfield, kind of like the rural part of the post. Not a lot of buildings, not a lot of people, and you could see the perimeter fence from the Corps Compound. The other side of the runway was the big city. Camp Bastion proper is connected to Camp Bastion 1.5 and Camp Bastion 2.0. There is a dividing line that if you don't know it you wouldn't know you had left Bastion and went into Camp Leatherneck like we did. North of all that, is Camp Shorbak, the Afghanistan National Army post we built, and a small post, about the size of Camp Stone, that is surrounded by the big city, Tombstone, named more for the surrounding landscape (similar to Arizona) than the marble stone.
This was where our combat tourism tour was to take place. We visited several buildings that were not one of my projects. This made me a spectator.You could chalk it up to Professional Development, you could call it a learning experience, but it was just a tourist thing to me. I saw things I'll never see again and it cost a great deal to get me there.
After eating in a quaint British dining facility we were heading straight to the airport. There was no plan to go back to the Area Office but we got diverted. Our plane was there, but Kandahar was locked down and we couldn't land. So, we hung out for a few more hours before finally flying on to Kandahar. So the plan was: going back to Kandi, going back to Kandi, I don't think so.
Yeah, it was a long way to go for a bad joke.
When we arrived at the Castle Compound in Kandahar, I was issued linens for my temporary bed--two fitted sheets. So, you can see the lengths I will go to for both a bad joke or a bad story.