By Air Force 2nd Lt. Natassia Cherne
Provincial Reconstruction Team-Nuristan- Public Affairs
FOB Kala Gush, Nuristan Afghanistan – Being deployed reminds me of the movie Groundhog Day, every day is the same, so it’s hard to remember good old American holidays. Now that October is here, Halloween comes to mind, and memories of past Halloweens flood not only my memory, but the memory of Halloween for other service members as well.
I remember being eight years old and going to a haunted tent with some of the neighborhood kids. We went as a group through the tent and finally made our way to the haunted cemetery, when Jason came around the corner with his chainsaw and hockey mask, and I took off running. I rounded the corner and ran into a wire holding the tent down, that same night I also ruined my beloved Beauty and the Beast shoes. It’s a memory I will never forget and it still makes me laugh till this day.
Below are some Halloween memories of service members here in Afghanistan.
Pfc. David Loomis, security force for the Provincial Reconstruction Team Nuristan, said his fondest childhood memory is, “When I was little kid, I dressed up like Zorro and I had a light sword, it was awesome!”
Marine Corps 1st Lt. Bradley Brill, Afghanistan National Army embedded training team leader said, “When I was 13, I chased down kids who stole another kid’s candy.” As you can see, Lt. Brill was always a motivated and dedicated Marine, even in his youth.
“One Halloween, when I was eight, I didn’t have a costume, so I took a box, wrapped it in aluminum foil, put it on my body and called myself a robot,” said Spc. Miles Sleeper, PRT Nuristan, security force.
Another memory from the past was from radio operator for the 2-77 Field Artillery Task Force Steel Warriors, Pfc. Allan Vargas, “In the sixth grade, I dressed up as Darth Vader from the movie Star Wars and the force was with me all night long because I got a whole bunch of candy!”
Not all Halloween memories are childhood ones, some of the most memorable Halloweens are ones we spend as adults.
“Last Halloween when I was going home from my deployment in Iraq, we had gotten held over in Germany and got to stay in a five star hotel and eat a five course meal for free,” said Senior Airman Ashley Hawkins, PRT Nuristan, Public Affairs photographer.
Petty Officer 3rd Class, Travis Mobley, radio operator and mail clerk for PRT Nuristan said, “Last year was the first year I celebrated Halloween, I was in downtown San Diego dressed up like Stewie Griffin from Family Guy. It was great I was the only Stewie downtown and I got all the girls.”
One memory that many families can relate to is a memory from Capt. Luis Arriola, the 2-77 Field Artillery Task Force Steel Warriors Battalion communication officer, who said his fondest memory was, “When my wife, daughter and I took a ride on a horse carriage through a pumpkin patch, my wife picked out a pumpkin and my daughter said no, she wanted two other pumpkins, she picked up two big pumpkins at the same time and fell over, it was so cute!”
I asked service members at Kala Gush what are some of the best traditions of Halloween they miss, here is what they said:
* Trick-or-treating with their families
* Watching scary movies
* Going to Halloween parties
* Having an excuse to dress up
* Setting up the yard with decorations
* Haunted Houses
* Carving pumpkins
* Pumpkin and Pecan pie
If anyone would like to send any candy, decorations or anything that will help to lift the spirits of our service members at FOB Kala Gush, please send it to:
Public Affairs Office
PRT Nuristan/FOB Kala Gush
APO AE 09354