Hello everyone! We're here watching with you. I remember the first thing that surprised me about Kandahar Air Field - sheer size. 23,000 People there!
Watching that canon fire was incredible and it was a surprise to us that it was an actual mission until we got there.
What did the soldiers tell you they missed most about home? Family? A clean shower?
Hearing Sgt. Roberts say he was in 2nd grade on 9/11 was a huge eye opener for us. There is an entire generation of soldiers who have only really known an America at war in Afghanistan.
After the break comes my favorite segment in this entire hour.
Sgt. Riggins has to be one of the nicest people I've ever met. Back home he has a day job, a couple of kids and a wife. Such a gentle guy.
It took probably three days to get Sgt. Martinez to talk to us. He's not a naturally chatty guy and we had to earn his trust. But he had some incredible stories from his deployments all over the world.
Sgt. Martinez is such a kind soul who is so modest about his warrior skills. So many of the soldiers truly looked up to him. Pleasure getting to know him.
Huge shout-out to editor Rex Harris, who helped me figure out how to tell the story of the battle of FOB Walton without any pictures of it whatsoever.
That 4th segment from Lindsay is such a good reminder that the FAMILIES serve too, not just the soldiers overseas.
Glad we were able to get Josh Earnest for the special. We tried to book President Obama, but couldn't make it happen in time.
That's the whole thing, right there.
Thanks everyone for joining us in this chat. We're going to stick around for a little bit if any one has anymore questions. The special will also re-air Sunday morning at 10am, and its available online any time.
There it is, we started talking about going to Afghanistan eight months ago and could never have imagined what it would be like. I hope you enjoyed the special. Please let us know if you have any questions. If you think of any later - please email us too!!
There's some great extra material on the website, but one of our favorite moments isn't recorded anywhere.
When we arrived in Kandahar, we landed and then went to the civilian airport, not the military airport.
We went through Afghan customs and then ended up on the airport curb in Kandahar, where instead of an armed group of US soldiers, we were met by rickety cabs, goats, Afghan nationals, and a garbage-strewn street.
It took a solid hour to get us - newly arrived westerners and all our gear - onto the base, and we were pretty nervous the entire time that we wouldn't even MAKE it to the base before things got awkward or dangerous for us.
Oh yeah! I almost forgot about our Kandahar Int'l Airport adventure! All's well that ends well? :)
Fortunately, Lt. Winters was able to work a deal with Afghan police and an Australian colonel (seriously!) to negotiate our way onto the base.
Thank you everyone for chatting with us! If you haven't had a chance to read the soldier profiles, you'll find more about the folks featured in the show.
That does it for us. Thanks again to all of you for joining us in this chat, and for watching. We hope you enjoyed watching. Good night.