Growing up in the military has provided many opportunities to see and do many things. My father is a retired Air Force master sergeant and is now a commercial pilot. In recent months my brother has deployed as a Navy command senior chief in Bahrain. My dad has been flying out of Bahrain for DHL recently, and his route has taken him to and from Afghanistan several times. I thought it was pretty cool that my family could be together during my brother’s deployment.
Now I am on my second deployment to Afghanistan. Our journey into theater was a long process, with stops at various locations lasting for days. One of those locations was Bagram Airfield, which is where I was stationed on my last tour.
It just happened to be that while we were waiting in Bagram, my dad was flying in. I only found this out the night before while chatting with my wife on Facebook. She got the information as to where I needed to go and who I needed to speak with to be able to visit with him. “Perfect,” I thought, “I will get to see my dad one more time.”
I headed to the DHL terminal, as instructed, only to find out it was in a secure cargo area of the base. The Security Forces Airman kindly told me that, without an access badge, I’m not getting in without an escort. Having no phone available to call for one, it was beginning to look like I wasn’t going to be able to see him.
I waited around for about five minutes, hoping a solution to the problem would somehow present itself — and it did, in the form of a DHL truck. I explained my situation to the driver, and he told me to hop in.
That’s how my last full day in Bagram started off —sitting in the DHL office, drinking hot tea and eating biscuits with the workers, waiting for the flight to land. Eventually I arrived on the flight line at my dad’s plane, and he was in the doorway at the top of the stairs. I got to spend about an hour and a half chatting with my dad and his coworkers while the ground crew off-loaded and reloaded his cargo hold.
I have to say this is probably one of the coolest things I have been able to do while deployed, on either deployment. It would be even cooler to do this again in the near future.