Before I get to the “what did you do in Afghanistan?” I thought I would mention living conditions. Ok, I have mentioned something about living conditions a few times in my whole, wow-ey two weeks in theater.
For my first 10+ days, I was living in the DVQ (Distinguised Visitors Quarters) opposite the baggage claim. Small dinky place with bed, night stand, shrank (cupboard), and folding chair. I could barely turn around unless the door was shut, but it was mine. Including the A/C unit in the wall direcly above my bed which provided the air ciculation for all three cells in our area.
I returned yesterday from Kandahar. On my door was a note from billeting. They had permanent quarters for me. Now, the senior folks from our task force have been in the DVQ since last spring. Now here I am, less than 2 weeks in theater and I am getting evicted?
Always friendly, I suspciously ask where?
Dragon B huts. My predecessor lived there and complained that it was really far from the office. So my attitude on the all of 200 meter hike is – right – plywood city rooms. Trying to maintain a sense of humor (tell you about the Kandahar housing challenge at the end) I went over to Dragon Billeting Office. I was helped by this lovely woman named Michelle.
She walks me down a couple of rows and in a hootch or two. Undoes the padlock on the door and points me toward the room on the left. This particular B hut is divided into two 1/4 units and a 1/2 unit. I have one of the quarters. Me, myself. All to myself. Turns out that Michelle has the other 1/4. We share an entry way complete with rug and hooks, a light switch and the ventilation unit.
The room itself is almost triple the size of the cell over in the DVQ. Three shranks, a desk, night stand, bed. THe previous tenant left me a number of useful items including lamps, power strips, wall hangings, rugs and a kettle. Obviously, I will add to and pass along to the next person.
It took me around an hour to pack, move and unload. Haven’t been able to accomplish a move in such a short time since it all fit in my VW Beetle.
The walk to the san trailers is a bit further as is the trek to work. 200 meters. Balancing that is the significant reduction in noise and the front covered entry way which will protect against the wind and dust.
AND! I can furnish my own lock – which means that everyone and their TCN can’t just wander in whenever they want. There is also this nice sliding bolt on the inside to secure my room when I am there.
Not bad, I have lived a lot worse on deployments.