BLOG ENTRY: Darren Perron reports from Camp Kaia in Afghanistan - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

BLOG ENTRY: Darren Perron reports from Camp Kaia in Afghanistan

Charikar, Afghanistan - August 2, 2010

Technology has been limited during our mission to Afghanistan so far. We are finally able to update the blog from Charikar, Afghanistan, the capital of Parwan province.

Lance and I arrived in Kabul Friday morning.  It was a two hour commercial flight from Dubai. Our experience at the Kabul International Airport made us a bit uneasy, and we later learned that we were correct in feeling that way. In order to get to Camp Kaia, where we'd spend the night, we needed transportation. We had a difficult time communicating that to airport personnel and were talked into taking a taxi. That was a mistake. While our driver ended up bringing us to our correct destination, Vermont Guard officials later told us that the ride could have gone terribly wrong. We were lucky. 
Once at Camp Kaia in Kabul, we attempted to catch a military flight to Bagram Air Field, but would not be able to do so until 3:20 am the next morning.  I'd never slept in a military bunk tent. I can still make that claim. There was no sleep. We shared the space with about 20 men from different parts of the world, since this is an internationally run base.  Everyone is on different schedules, the lights stay on, and we had no sheets, pillows or blankets. (We hope our bags arrive Tuesday) But Camp Kaia does feel secure. We were able to walk around without our body armor. 
Our military flight to Bagram Air Field was short, about 10 minutes. It's located just over the mountain from Camp Kaia.  But there's a big difference between the two locations. The food is better, the sleeping accommodations are better, and the base is enormous and very well-protected. We finally got five hours of sleep Sunday night! That was much needed. It is here that we find our Vermont Guard soldiers doing critical and amazing work in the war effort.   These men and women are total professionals! We are in good hands. We've been out on patrols and convoys, outside "the wire" as they say.  Monday morning's convoy at 4 a.m. had us a bit on edge. But there are beautiful stories we'll be telling you soon, including a rare look at Afghan women and children being treated at a hospital at Bagram. Female members of the Vermont Guard are making some major headway with the women of this country. We have a full plate this week. Right now, we're staying with the Vermont Guard soldiers who are training Afghan police in Charikar. We'll spend the night here and meet with locals.  I'm happy to report our Vermont Guard soldiers are making a huge difference here. I look forward to learning and reporting more as our journey continues.
Darren Perron - WCAX-TV
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