Sleeping In Afghanistan
Sleeping out in the fields of Afghanistan was definitely an experience. Growing up the states, you never really get to see all the stars in the sky because of light pollution unless you live really far out in the country lands. In Afghanistan, you can see everything at night.
Patrols were usually during the day and never really lasted longer than 4-8 hours (usually on the lower end of that spectrum), but you’d occasionally have to do patrols at night or some other night ops. We’d also do land nav and NVG training at night with the Marines every now and then. On these nights, we’d end up camping out.
Sleeping on the ground sucks lol. But it’s either sleep on the ground or sleep inside the MATV, which is so unbelievably uncomfortable that I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. You kind of have to sleep flat on your back if you slept on the ground, otherwise you’d wake up in the middle of the night with either side of your rib cage hurting. Lucky for me, I naturally sleep flat on my back anyway haha. Either way, you’re waking up with dips in your back from pebbles that were big enough to push through your sleeping bag. I’ll never forget stuffing an MRE bag with sand to use as a pillow lol.
But in the midst of all the suck, you got to see everything in the sky for once. For the first time even for many of us who grew up in or around rural areas. It was nature’s laser show. When it gets dark in Afghanistan, it gets dark. You never see that back in the states. At least not in the DC area, where I’m from. We have streetlights literally everywhere, so we’re used to them. It’s one of the things I miss about Afghanistan, I’ll admit. Aside from the combat, Kunar and Laghman did have their beauty.