THE JOURNEY: On the way to the war zone - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

THE JOURNEY: On the way to the war zone

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - July 30, 2010

WCAX News reporter Darren Perron and photographer Lance MacKenzie are on their way to Afghanistan. They left Vermont Thursday and arrived in Dubai Friday. Their final destination is the Bagram Air Base where a number of Vermonters are stationed.

Darren and Lance are ready for the challenge. There are countless stories they want to tell and after a long journey that began Thursday, they are about to enter Afghanistan to be embedded with members of the Vermont National Guard.

Kristin Carlson talked with Darren and Lance via Skype Friday afternoon.

Kristin Carlson: It's great to see and hear you guys. How has the trip been so far?

Lance MacKenzie: Good-- little tired. We got on the plane. I was looking out the window to see the moon and then the sun came up, and the sun went back down again. We were on the plane for sunrise and sunset that is new experience for me.

Darren Perron: It took 12 hours for us to get here from JFK. Tonight we are going to try to get some food and a little rest then head into Afghanistan tomorrow morning.

The two will go to Kabul on a commercial plane. From there they will get on a military plane to fly to Bagram Air Base. Both are excited about the stories they will find.

Darren: Would love to talk to some folks in the villages about what is going on, and Lance you were mentioning from Agriculture movement there...

Lance: Right, there is a team we will find out once we are there. There is an agri-team where Vermonters are working on, working with the Afghans to develop a marketable crop and we hope to link up with one of those team.

Lance: It was really touching to see remarks on Facebook, on the WCAX Facebook page, of the number of people who are supporting us, asking us to get in touch with their family members that are there. So that really brought it home for me to see just how important this very brief mission on behalf of WCAX but bringing these Vermonters home, bringing them stories, Vermont stories home. I think is really important.

Darren: When you think about how many families and people are, friends and brothers and sisters, and parents affected, this deployment-- 1,500 people in such a small state, the largest number of soldiers deployed to the war zone comes from Vermont there are a lot of stories to tell.

Kristin: We wish you guys well and can't wait to hear the stories that you are going to bring back and please tell the troops we say hi.

Darren: See everyone soon.

Darren is keeping a running blog of their travels through the war zone with picture they take along the way. The first post went up on wcax.com Friday. Click here to read it.

Kristin Carlson - WCAX News

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