1. “Incoming, incoming, incoming” – What we hear over the loudspeakers on base when there is indirect fire (IDF) inbound. Although frequent, I am still not used to this…scary to me.
2. “All clear” – What hopefully follows the above soon after.
3. Are you ok? – Hopefully the answer is “yes” when you do accountability checks after IDF.
4. “Panther 777 (this is a typical call sign for a flight in theater), your flight to Kandahar has been cancelled. You will be re-manifested on another flight that leaves in 6 hours. Please do not leave the holding area in the interim.” – Travel in theater is generally sketchy and takes at least 1-2 days on each end to get to where you are going. A week trip in calendar days is perhaps 3 days of business and 4 days of hurry up and wait. I will never again complain about travel stateside.
5. “Afgarristan” – We’ve been here so long that Bagram feels more like a base back home other than the IDF. However, only “real” Soldiers who go outside the wire actually use this term. This is still a major austere war zone from my perspective!:)
6. “Do you want to go to Dragon, North, Meat Shack, Colie, or Aviation?” – We go through this routine at least twice, sometimes 3 times a day in deciding where to eat.
7. “I’ll be at the Pink Palace” – Perhaps TMI but the closest “real” restroom to our office, about a 5 minute walk. I visit there whenever I can.:)
8. “Is your internet working?” – The internet is constantly going in and out so there’s this ongoing debate as to whether it’s your computer or a service outage. I don’t know why we ask because it’s never your computer acting up….
9. “That’s hodgie” – This term probably has some derogatory etymology that is lost on me, but this is the term to describe things when they break (ie toilets, TVs, etc.)….most things, in other words at Bagram are “hodgie” because they often don’t work right. To use the previous example, the internet is “hodgie”.
10. “How many more days do you have left?” – It’s like you walk around with a countdown clock on your chest. Everyone knows their number of days left like they do their social security number and birthday. Mine is 127.