Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Thursday was packing day – and when you’re headed into a war zone, that’s vastly easier said than done. The operative word: weight. For starters, the body armor and helmet weigh just under 30 pounds. (This according to a bathroom scale that’s telling me I weigh 10 pounds less than I actually do.) Toss in all the journalism stuff – laptop, spare laptop, data transmitter, camera, audio recorder, cords, chargers, batteries, notebooks and various other doo-dads – and my trusty old L.L. Bean backpack is already bulging to the tune of 45-50 pounds. Then come the clothing, toilet kit, sleeping bag, headlamp, Gerber all-purpose tool, first-aid kit and God knows what else and the load finally tops out at 60.4 pounds – comfortably under the 66-pound limit set by Afghan’s Safi Airways, which will carry me overnight Saturday from Frankfurt, Germany, to Kabul. My 55-year-old back aches just looking at it. I'm adding a pound of ibuprofen.Tweet
Columnist Bill Nemitz is reporting from the mountains of eastern Afghanistan. Nemitz left Memorial Day weekend to join the 152 Maine men who make up Maine Army National Guard’s Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry. Bravo Company is part of the 94,000 soldiers currently in Afghanistan.