CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – I wasn’t looking for a soundtrack when arriving at this sprawling forward operating base, but it appears I’ve found one.
Traveling to get security badges here this morning in a van, we were treated to the confident crooning of Right Said Fred and his 1990s classic, “I’m Too Sexy.”
The song was playing on a British-run radio station aboard Camp Bastion, which is part of this base. “Forces Radio,” as the DJ called it, is broadcasted to improve morale and keep people informed. It appears to do both of those things – as long as you like British techno music.
In all seriousness, photographer James Lee and I arrived here from Kabul on a C-130 flight run by the British early this morning. There were mostly British troops and U.S. soldiers on board, although a couple of Marines also tagged along.
After our plane landed, we made our way down its back ramp to a bus, which whisked us to a flight terminal. We were dropped at the same large tent that has been set aside for media for at least two years.
This morning, we started to poke around a bit. It has been two years since I’ve been at Leatherneck, and the changes are immediately apparent.
Main thoroughfares are paved. Gyms, coffee shops and a large PX store have been added. In no way is life here like living in the U.S. suburbs, but this base is no longer spartan, either.
It’s uncertain how long we’ll be here on Leatherneck, but the plan is still to push out of here at some point to meet infantry units in northern Helmand province. In the meantime, stay tuned for all your Right Said Fred classics.
Please stay safe you two! I’ll be praying for y’all back here and looking forward to each and every story and photo!!
Keep up the great job you men and women are doing. Their are still people who think of you and appreciate the sacrifice your making for us and your families. God bless all of you. I may be joining you soon…
I just found your blog and enjoy reading it very much!! My fiance’ just arrived there this week and you have given me great insight as to his conditions. My prayer’s are with each and everyone of our military and civilians who are over here…keep up the GREAT work!
My son has just left for his 2nd tour in Afghanistan – I have just come across this site which has been insightful and it is good to see some photos of where my son is. It gives me a little bit of peace. I am extremely proud of him and all of our military who are actively serving….my prayers are with each and every one of you.