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. You have to understand one can't just sit and watch a game while like we can at home back at home. The time difference is just out of wacky.
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 a lot of us over there a little closer to home.
Sure the game was on AFN (Armed Forces Network) so the commercials were all Army made. Believe, me if you don't like normal commercial you'd really hate AFN commercials. They are like public access TV but are all about safety and they only has like three different ones. The TV was not the only thing that was different while being deployed.
You see their is no real beer while deployed, sure you can get the harder stuff...not that I'd know anything about that... cough...Supply Sergeant.... cough. What they do have is O'Doul's a non-alcoholic beer over there along with many different Fanta and coke products and if you were lucky you could get a can of Sprite. Believe me after being without beer for sometime O'Doul's starts to becomes drinkable; just a tip make sure to drink it really cold. Thought, there were some good things for Joes could get while deployed.
The best part things to get are the care packages people would send over. There would be all sort of crazy stuff form schools and different organizations; movies, book and snacks. Heck one time a church sent over these mint cigars they were not half bad epically because we offend ran low on smokes. But, if you are going to send over anything the best thing to send is baby wipes. Because one can find themselves with out a shower for long periods of time and nothing so beats baby wipes just to get remove the grim of off of you.
Now some Joes would just rat thought the boxes and take what ever they could but you know I took time to read the cards that folks would send. These cards did mean something the words from folks back in the states show support and appreciation for what we were doing really meant something. They'd be from folks from all over the country. So those folks could be Wildcats, or Razorbacks heck, even got one care packages from Beavers or they could have been Duck fans. Either, way just knowing folks cared enough to send us something was great and the notes helped to make the time over there worth it.
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 is what makes America great.
Have a happy Veterans Day
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