MARJAH, AFGHANISTAN — Hello from the ‘stan, friends. Tom and I have made another move, leaving Patrol Base Yazzie yesterday to spend some time with the Marines of the Yellow Schoolhouse, a deserted Afghan school for which Marine Corps leadership has high hopes. Third Platoon from India Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines rotates squads through here on a revolving basis.
As you can see, the school is rather, uh, rustic. There are no windows, numerous holes in the roof and a variety of birds and insects sharing the building with the Marines deployed there. I’ll have substantially more to a report in a forthcoming Marine Corps Times story once I get outside the wire here more (we already went on one patrol today).
In case it wasn’t already painfully obvious, we got a reminder during our trip here yesterday with a mail convoy that Marjah can turn from interesting, rustic farming community to hazard area very quickly. The front vehicle in our convoy — a new Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicle, or M-ATV, was destroyed after hitting a substantial improvised explosive device. All Marines inside survived and were joking about the incident a few minutes later. Tom shot some video moments after the blast occurred, and will have more in a blog post soon.