The Daily Life of Some Soldiers in Afghanistan Just Might Surprise You

By Sadie Bass

Jun 10, 2009 5:41pm

ABC's Nick Schifrin reports from Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan: You might be surprised to learn what life is like for the thousands of American troops swarming into Afghanistan now.  Most of these troops will have to fight the Taliban in the coming weeks but last night, we found young soldiers moving to the rhythms of Marc Anthony at a salsa lesson. Welcome to Kandahar Air base, a hive of activity, buzzing with choppers and plane landings, new tent cities with names like “South Park,” and 19 and 20 year-old troops letting their hair down before they head to hot spots points south.  Every night, in an area of base knows as the “boardwalk,” we have found troops wrestling with video games on big screens, playing in football and basketball leagues and sharing pepperoni and mushroom pies at the local Pizza hut.   Even so, for some of these troops who just arrived here on non-stop flights from Iraq, the amenities are scarce.  According to Sergeant David Finley, “It's not like Baghdad.  Baghdad had a bit more luxuries, not so much here… During the evenings most of the guys will go into the tent and throw some dominoes or play some cards, just get out mind away from work, then go back at it the next day.”
 
That "next day" may well help determine the future of this country. Commanders here say this isn’t just the first time the U-S has thrown significant resources at southern Afghanistan. They also say it’s likely their last chance — to defeat a resurgent Taliban from this area.  Road bomb attacks are up, fatalities are up, and commanders admit Southern Afghanistan will become more violent before it gets better.  But on this night, over at the “boardwalk,” troops are tearing up the beach volleyball court.

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