Back on Dec 28, 2004, I was at Bagram Airfield and what to my surprise the Oregon State Beavers were playing the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the Insight Bowl. I'd just gotten off watch and the game was still on sure it was at some unremembered time in the morning due to the time differences I do know it was before dawn. So you have to understand one can't just sit and watch a game over in the Stan (Afghanistan) like we can at home.
It was a great game and it reminded me of the 1999 season at the time due to the Beavers playing the Irish. I'd missed most of the season due to training so I was not following the team much. But just watching the game or any game for that matter brought me a little closer to home.
Sure the game was on AFN (Armed Forces Network) so the commercials were all army made. To understand this you have to look at this way; it was like public access but with an Army budget. But that is not all one had to look forward to after a long day.
You see their is no real beer, sure you can get the harder stuff...not that I'd know anything about that... cough...Supply Sergeant.... cough. What they did have is O'Doul's (non-alcoholic beer) over there along with many different Fanta products and if you were lucky some Sprite. After being with out beer for some time O'Doul's becomes drinkable; just a tip make sure to drink it really cold. Thought, O'Doul's is not the worst thing to drink.
The best part was the care packages you'd get. There would be all sort of crazy stuff form schools and different organizations. Heck, they sent over these mint cigars they were not half bad if you were low on smokes. The best thing to send is baby wipes. Now some guys would just rat thought the boxes but you know I took time to read the cards. The cards did mean something the words from folks back in the states and they were from all over the country. So those folks could be Wildcats, or Razorbacks heck, even got one from Beavers or they could have been Duck fans.
I guess what I'm getting at is thanks to all of those that are serving, those who have served and their families. What you do or did is for all of us.
Happy Veterans Day
If you have a Veterans story feel free to share in the comments below