Afghan Time Machine

Steel Girder From The World Trade Center

Everything in Afghanistan is a reminder of the past.

One of the most important things you will see at Bagram Air Field is an actual steel girder from the World Trade Center. This is why we are here.

 

Aside from the regularly scheduled shows, we took every opportunity to do shows wherever the troops were. We did impromptu shows in a food court, an office, a hangar. The Medevac hangar is the oldest structure at Bagram, and word is it was used by the Taliban to kill prisoners. Nice that we could bring it 180 degrees to a place where people get healed.

Medevac Hangar

Oppa Bagram Style

We visited an American base that was located next to a former Soviet base that in turn was set up at the ruins of an old British fort. We decided it was the perfect place to shoot our indy rock band promo photo:

Band Photo

Keith Alberstadt is playing the requisite sullen band member. Missing: railroad tracks.

The command staff of the base gave us a tour of the ruins. Almost as fascinating as the ruins? I met an Army dude with the perfect name for a stand-up comedian superhero: Captain Riddle.

Captain Riddle

Yes, Captain Riddle is on the case! His perfect sidekick would be Private Joker from Full Metal Jacket.

We even stumbled upon an airplane graveyard in Kyrgyzstan. The boneyard had newer Russian jets and many old Soviet-era aircraft. An awesome de facto flight museum!

Airplane Boneyard, Kyrgyzstan

Fact: United Airlines still has flight attendants as old as some of these planes.

Check out the tattered wings on the plane in the bottom right of that picture. It had canvas wings. WTF? This would not sit well with John Lithgow.

A Bad Flyer

Pilot: “Was there a man on the wing of the plane?”
Lithgow: “NO! The plane is made of f#$king CLOTH!”

What struck me as most amazing about this trip was that there are people from other countries who serve in our military, and they do this to become American citizens. The base was busy setting up a naturalization ceremony this week in Afghanistan for some of these prospective Americans. Think about that. Most of us were born, without any effort on our parts, into this situation for which these people were willing to fight.

Here’s a final reminder of the past: back in 1876, almost 82% of Americans voted. Four years ago, barely half of us did. In Afghanistan, I met some people who would die for the right to vote. That should tell you how precious the right to vote is, and what a kick-ass place America is. You really should start giving a damn again.

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