Happy Mother’s Day from Afghanistan

Dan Lamothe//Staff

Dan Lamothe / Staff

PATROL BASE YAZZIE, Afghanistan — Good afternoon, friends. Tom Brown and I have made another move, jumping from Camp Hanson, home of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, to Patrol Base Yazzie, a smaller outpost in northwestern Marjah that is home to India Company, 3/6.

The drive over from Hanson was certainly an eye-opener for me. While I expected to see poverty, I didn’t expect to see a wasteland. There is obviously no electricity, and modern farming tools are nowhere to be found. Even we and the Marines sleeping on the ground in tents here at Yazzie have far more comforts of life than anyone we saw on the way here. I wanted to take photos, but there was so much dust caked onto the window of our Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, it seemed pointless.

For at least a week, we’ll be following the India Company Marines who work from this base. We’ll go on patrols with them, eat with them, goof around with them and share what we can. A basic fact is that with the poppy season here over, Marine leadership expects the level of violence in Marjah and other parts of Afghanistan to rise. Ambushes will continue to occur, and Marines will continue to fight them off. Marines are also conducting good civil affairs work here that deserves to be highlighted.

As for Yazzie, we definitely arrived on the right night. The company barbecued tonight for the first time in weeks, and there was plenty of chicken, steak, hot dogs and rice to go around.

I also wanted to share the photograph above, which I took at Camp Hanson before leaving. It appears someone mounted two small stuffed animals to an M-ATV, the Marine Corps’ new, smaller MRAP. I suppose it could be some sort of practical joke, but the more likely scenario would be that someone has children at home who sent their father (or mother) their toys to keep him from being afraid.

These are the stories that are easy to forget on a day like Mother’s Day. Plenty of mothers have husbands or sons who are here in Afghanistan, including my own.

Here’s to remembering everyone. And Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I’ll be home soon.


About Author

I'm a senior writer with Marine Corps Times, covering ground warfare, manpower, weapons acquisition and other beats. I embedded in Afghanistan in spring 2010, and plan to return at least once in 2011.


  1. Cathy Furlong on

    Yeah! I’m thrilled to hear you are with India Company. I’m sorry to repeat myself again but if you see Tommy Furlong (and I hope you do) tell him how proud I am and that I love him and miss him so much. Thanks Dan for all your updates, I look forward to reading them every day. It was great to hear that they had a barbecue instead of MREs. You did luck out! Stay safe.

  2. Niki Walters on

    Yeah! Ur with India! I can’t wait to see pics, I haven’t seen one single pictures of Lcpl Oxley from 2nd plt. Either way these guys will take care of you! Be safe and tell our boys we’re thinking and praying for them!

  3. Forests Mom on

    Got your back with our prayers and our sons out there will keep vigil. Be safe. Lots of the 3/6 out there to visit.
    – Lima Co. mom

  4. We 3/6 families are reading this everyday. It doesn’t matter if you’re with Lima, Kilo, Weapons, India-we love them all and are so thankful you are reporting so bravely, Mr. Lamothe and Mr. Brown!!

  5. Michelle Pelkey on

    Mr. Lamothe and Mr. Brown,
    Thanks you so much!!! It has been 5 weeks since anyone back here in Vermont has heard from LCpl Jack Pelkey of Lima 3/6 but your blog is really helping us feel connected. Thank you. Keep up the great work because you have quite a following from all 3/6 families and we so appreciate your efforts. Stay safe.
    Michelle Pelkey

  6. Michelle North on

    I too am a 3/6 Marine Mom. LCPL North of Weapons Co CAAT platoon. I appreciate your images as it gives me a glimpse into my son’s current world. Thank you

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