Marines offer insight into what lies ahead in Afghanistan
Posted October 6, 2011 4:24 p.m. EDT
Updated October 7, 2011 5:47 a.m. EDT
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, AFGHANISTAN — Soldiers with Fort Bragg's 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade who arrived in Afghanistan this week to begin a year-long deployment crossed paths at Bagram Airfield with some Tar Heel state compatriots. A group of Marines from Camp Lejeune was ending its stint in the country, and they shared words of wisdom with the new arrivals.
The Marines advised the soldiers to make sure their loved ones stay just a phone call or a click of a mouse away. One of the busiest parts of the Bagram base is the Morale, Welfare and Recreation area where soldiers can call home, use Skype or get on Facebook to connect with families and friends.
"Being able to call home, get on the internet and email and stuff like that – it really helps out as opposed to years ago, we had to write letters," said Sgt. Edward Underwood.
Sgt. Charles Walker said he kept an eye on his family, even from a great distance.
"My wife would set up the camera in the living room, and I'd watch my 2 1/2-year-old son and my 5-month-old daughter, who I haven't met yet, move around the living room and interact with each other," he said.
Staying in touch back home helped ease some of the stresses of deployment, Marines said.
"You're always on the alert," said Lt. Troy Gross. "You learn to live with it and continue out the mission that you have to accomplish."
The Marines are schedule to reunite with their families Friday.
"For us to redeploy back to North Carolina is just a tremendous feeling of accomplishment. We're really looking forward to getting back to our families and friends," said Lt. Col. Dale Kruse.