April 14th, 2010
08:33 AM ET
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Mike in KC

    Thanks for the story on the Bases. It was very interesting seeing what the living conditions are like for our soldiers. God bless them all!

    April 19, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. MarineWife

    My husband is in 1/2 A over in Now Zad right now. We are constantly googling infor on our marines over there. My husband says that where they are is not that nice. He lives off of MREs and showers using baby wipes. But he does not complain! They know that this is what they signed up for. He has been to Iraq twice. This is his first in Afghan. He says that there are many IEDs but they do the best they can to find them.
    They are very grateful for packages. I know there are organizations that send care packages to the marines and you can donate money to them. One website is http://www.uso.org/
    Thank you for all those who help our marines and Thank you to all the Marines who have served or are serving!!!

    Semper Fi to my Marine!!!!

    April 19, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. CCATTguy

    I was in Kandahar when the Burger King (the first of the services of this type) was installed. It was nice to get a taste of home and did wonders for morale. It wasn't quite as good as back home, but hey, I was eating a flame broiled burger with cheese in a combat zone – not too shabby.

    Rumor has it that there is a commander-type person threatening to take these things away from our guys and girls over there citing "This isn't an amusement park." I urge all of you to let our leaders know that a little bright light in an otherwise dismal existance hardly compares to Disneyland. Even though we had a Burger King, believe it or not the bad guys still did their thing, the dust storms still blew through, and our tents still got rocked by mortar fire.

    As for comment #7, he's an idiot. I have been there, done that. Both places. I am part of CCATT (Critical Care Air Transport Team) and have flow in and out of most bases in OIF and OEF areas. When we were fired on upon entry, depending on the base, either "little birds" or A-10's were launched to eliminate the threat. As we flew in, we had our body armor on, peeked out the window to see the field of tanks and APCs in both our and the other partner-nation's camps (Romanians at the time.) Robert Shawn, you paint a picture of terrorism and government non-support that simply does not exist. Were we short on supplies and equipment? Sure. Were we sitting in bunkers crying ourselves to sleep every night in fear that we were so poorly protected that we might die at any given moment? Negative.

    April 19, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. Fabian

    wow this guy reported so poorly. the beginning half was so irrelevant and seemed like a few guys off the street recorded this. where the video inside the cafeteria, where's the burger king? where are the hot showers? what do the soldiers think about their stay?
    how come we didnt see any of the real beds they have at that camp?

    I'm disappointed CNN would trust this douche to report anything worth American people's time.

    April 19, 2010 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  5. Alan

    Adam, I'm not really sure if you know what your talking about. Many of these "POG's" are responsible for keeping the "Grunts" in the fight. If you are familiar with how the 82nd ABN DIV works, a battalions QRF or AT platoon isnt getting to the fight unless they have support from their "POG" mechanics that are more than likely at the FLE with them. That 12 hour GAC across the country isnt happening unless the "POG" fuelers come along for the ride. The PLL clerks and some of the guys in the "S" shops. Yea, I got it. Chilled deployment compared to the grunts. But as far as being a "POG", while I served in the 82nd there was a lot asked of me by the "grunts." Things that they needed me to do because they were clueless. But you would never hear this "POG" ask a "grunt" to fire his weapon for him.

    April 19, 2010 at 2:37 am | Report abuse |
  6. cpl mosley

    first off i want to say that i served inNowzad with 3/8 in 2009.......i think this video sucked and was trying to make it look like all bases in afghanistan are nice....we grunts live "hard" in dpeloyments bu we could care less if we had a t.gi. fridays in nowzad cause we all signed the contract to go to war andfight taliban not play vollyball or eat fat nasty t.gi. fridays.....the only military people that live nice like that are the non combat ones a.ka. POGS......and to add on to the comment about IED's that someone wrote on here....one word for you ...idiot....of course were doing everything we can to fnd and stop all IEDS or Bombs what you call it ...waht you trhink the govermewnt just tells us to run over them or something...no...we are the secerity do you really think that villagers with no weapons will stop crazy taliban from placing the bombs on the roads ....so next time you people talk about the war....dont say anything unless you have been there and done it ....

    cpl mosley 0311 usmc

    April 18, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Brandon

    Nice. I love MRES. I had to eat them 3x times a day in Romania. That guy who had the pork rib who said it was a big mac, this is how you make a bic mac. Get two wheat bread, cheese and bbq sauce. Cook the porkrib in the heater. While that is cooking spread the bbq sauce and cheese on the wheat bread, then when its done cooking, take the rib out of the heater and eat it like a burger. Its so amazing. You got to great creative with MREs although it is good to hear they have tgi fridays there. They just recently are getting rid of fast food downrange. Good to know I do not have to eat MREs 24/7.

    April 18, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  8. Michael Kaplan

    Comment # 7 by Mr Shawn is outrageous e.g. to imply the USA is being taken over by terrorists;
    presumably he means the current President. And worse,Shawn hides behind soldiers doing the best they can. Most American soldiers would reject this kind of rhetoric and are poorly served by
    such comments.

    April 17, 2010 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. Arlene

    Hello Chris Lawrence,
    Thanks for the info. on the Marines in Afganistan this morning on CNN morning news. They seem to be in such awful conditions with all the dirt and having to take bottled water showers etc. It sounds like pure hell and I feel so sorry for them , tho of course grateful also.
    I have been curious about something since seeing a similar story a few months ago about these Marines in that area.that said their how much they looked forward to receiving mail from back home. Sounded like that was very important to them and so I tried to find info. but not able to know where to look.
    I was hoping to hear you say in your report more info. on how we can help them, address to send mail, small items they may need, how woulkd I chose who needs mail , etc. etc.
    Your trip was interesting but would you please consider adding this type of info. ?
    I can't send much as I'm on a low income but maybe there is something small that would help them somehow ?? I would appreciate your input. Thank You, Arlene
    PS What is your main goal on your next trip in a few months ?

    April 16, 2010 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  10. ENS Adrienne Rolle

    Mr. Lawrence,

    We love what you're doing for the troops out here in Afghanistan!

    NMCB Five is currently deployed to Afghanistan; our flag is in Camp Leatherneck, just adjacent to Camp Bastion.
    I serve as the Public Affairs Officer for my battalion, and would love to introduce you to some of our fighting Seabees and familiarize you with some of the outstanding work the Seabees have been doing both inside and outside the wire.
    Please feel free to get in touch!

    Respectfully,

    ENS Adrienne Rolle
    NMCB FIVE

    strength and honor

    April 16, 2010 at 5:35 am | Report abuse |
  11. Adam

    Thats the difference between a grunts (infantry) deployment and a POGs (non-infantry) deployment. Very brief, but it does give you an idea of the contrast between the two.

    April 16, 2010 at 2:59 am | Report abuse |
  12. Robert Shawn

    Are you talking about the Iraq soliders? or the afghan soliders? with less equipment, no armor, no guns, no drones, no apaches, no air support, no tanks AND off course NO TGIs, yeah, they have ultimately sacrificed their lives to save his country from being taken by terro... wait, his country is being taken by... mmm, Houston we have a problem.

    April 15, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Fred Carr

    God Bless my Marines and all others in the Armed services over there. As a Gulf War veteran and Vietnam veteran, I learned a long time ago that good oood food is a luxury; eating something, no matter what, is a necessity. So, too, for water, and an occasional cigarette.

    I am grateful (very), but not sorry for the conditions theypre putting up with. Mission comes first. Creature comfort is unnecessary. There are ways to survive and stay occupied that aren't pretty, but it has to be done. As much as our generous countrymen sent over to us, I left it in place. Every extra pound I had to carry fatigued me in the hot desert and and did nothing to keep me warm at night. I figured if I Ieft it there, some poor kid could benefit.

    Finally, I'd like to see a return to C-Rats. Much better and more adaptable and you can always use slash wire to hook up the cans for conversation between fighting holes.

    Semper Fi from an old Marine.

    April 15, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  14. erlinda ikalina

    I was just finished looking through the brave and fallen soldiers and I must say they have ultimately sacrificed their lives just to save a country from being taken over by terrorists. It is very horrific and unfathomable notion that these brave soldiers go expose theirselves to a country who does not have any regard of its own security, but because we and other freedom loving nations want this poor country to be emancipated, these soldiers must be honored. On the other hand, soldiers who are deployed are also in extreme pressure and stress lurks into their minds that they have lost their sense of bravery because they think they'll die anyway. Please ask the governement to improve these soldier's security because most of the cause of their deaths were bombs on the road.

    April 14, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Smith in Oregon

    Life on US Military bases in Afghanistan just got harder when Afghanistan President Karzai's family starting hiting back, accusing US officials of launching a smear campaign as a prelude to abandoning the country again. “There’s a very bad policy developing towards Afghanistan,” said the president’s brother Mahmoud Karzai, a businessman who lives in Kabul. “They want to discredit the Afghan government in the eyes of the US public. I hope it’s not the beginning of an exit strategy. If it is, God help us, it will be very bad — don’t they remember what happened when they did this before in the Eighties?”

    Mahmoud believes the tension goes back to before last summer’s elections. “There was a clear push by a group of US politicians to really hurt him.”

    Both President Karzai and his brother Mahmoud particularly blame Galbraith, who was then the deputy UN representative, and Richard Holbrooke, the US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. “They made statements which were really outrageous,” Mahmoud said. “On the second day of counting, before the results were even known, they said it would go to a second round.

    “Ever since there has been a push to undermine the Afghan government. I don’t understand. I see right now the Taliban at the fence. If we continue the good work, the Taliban will be defeated, but if we continue in this way they will not.”

    The Sunday Times reports:

    The biggest sticking point is Ahmed Wali, who runs the Karzai Clan family interests in Kandahar and is believed to be a drug dealer. US officials have reportedly said he must be removed before a battle for control of the province.

    “They say he is a drug dealer but we’ve never been shown any evidence,” Mahmoud said. “The idea that Ahmed Wali should be removed is generated by those who want to hand over Kandahar to the Taliban.”

    As for the Afghan president’s reported threat to join the Taliban if the West kept attacking him, Mahmoud said: “It’s impossible. The Taliban would not allow him.” It is often forgotten that President Karzai was once the Taliban’s chief fundraiser.

    LET's Repeat that, from Karzai's own brother 'President Karzai Was Once the Taliban's CHIEF FUNDRAISER'

    Undoubtedly that is the missing connection he has with the CIA. President Karzai must have been begun being on the CIA's payroll when he became the Taliban's CHIEF FUNDRAISER some years prior to him being handpicked by the CIA to rule Afghanistan.

    The argument (between President Karzai and Gen McChrystal) may come down to differences over how to deal with the Taliban. Like the British, Karzai thinks negotiations should start now. The Americans want a military victory first. This will be the main topic of discussion when President Karzai visits Washington next month.

    April 14, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  16. lois e. maggio

    Dear Rick Sanchez:
    Why am I not surprized by the reaction of that Boer guy in South Africa to the WOMAN's Questions?
    Because i am a woman...In many places in the world (including our own, the US) many arrogant older men full of privelege and power resent being asked a question by a woman...The will even assault or hit but verbal assaults are often the reaction...
    I know from working in an aerpospace corporation for 25 years, and married to a Navy man for 25 years that: "Women will be the LAST N-–s to be liberated!" All over this planet!

    Thank you...

    April 14, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  17. supporter

    Glad to see that there are some comforts of home in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Those brave souls disserve it!

    April 14, 2010 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  18. Carmen

    Chris,
    Thank you for this video. Although previously forewarned...it didn’t seem "real" yet to me that Jeremy's location would be without showers & toilets. It sure made me grateful today. You can bet I won't be complaining when the kids use all the hot water in their showers before I get to take one. I am indebted to you for risking your life to bring the families news coverage. You have no idea how we spend hours googling "Marines," "Afghanistan," "Now Zad," and "Helmand." Just one tidbit of information is a morsel for all of us. Even the smallest piece of information helps us go another day. You are appreciated!

    April 14, 2010 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |