Thumbs Up in Afghanistan


22 February 2011

Arrived back in Kandahar today and immediately set off into the wilds.  Am not with troops at this time, but later will see about embedding.

While driving in Kandahar City today, we passed by some American troops doing “route clearance.”  They were looking for bombs.  Their work is extremely dangerous but they keep rolling.  Often they find bombs only after they get hit.  The “bird cage” around the vehicle is to counter RPGs.  Insofar as I can tell, the US government has done cheetah flips to make sure our troops have the right gear for this risky job.

While we drove past the American unit, a friend gave them a thumbs up and nearly got in the way of my shot!


# ted 2011-02-22 15:43
I see those same BAE trucks on trucks here in South Carolina.
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# Hector 2011-02-22 15:45
That is an impressive site! I bet those Taliban fighters flee at the sight of that. They probly' squirt their pants just from hearing them roll in! :D
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# scarface 2011-02-22 15:53
God bless and protect you Michael.
Ironically, you are in one of the most stable countries in the Middle East
Semper Fidelis
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# diane 2011-02-22 15:58
Michael, Bless you for reporting... May He guide you and Angels watch over you. This Angel will pray for you as you travel with the best heros I know. Diane
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# A&N 2011-02-22 16:04
Like a gilded Lilly...these cages cover something very precious to us...our brave military men. Interesting photo, Mike. Our thumbs up to them and to you in all your endeavors. We'll be following you. Thanks once again.
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# Connie 2011-02-22 16:08
Praying all is well, and all goes well. Thank you for sharing.
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# C. Ochsner 2011-02-22 16:14
Very cool new website! You are back in theater and we will have first class reporting of the war in Afghanistan in the future again. Thank you for your great work. Take care ....
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# Leyla 2011-02-22 16:23
Thumbs up back to you!
Please stay safe!
You have a support group here that is praying for you!

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# S. Hulslander 2011-02-22 16:26
Thank you Michael for all the great reporting that you do. Stay safe!
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# Scott 2011-02-22 16:35
Keep up the good work Michael. Keep your head down and come back safe!
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# Snakeeater 2011-02-22 16:59

Don't sweat the thumbs up in the shot. It didn't ruin it, I think it adds a lot to it!

Stay safe and keep up the great reporting. We need more Hemingways like you out there.
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# Philippe 2011-02-22 17:08
Hello, you are mighty brave to drive around that city. I'm there on the Canadian KPRT driving in Cougars MRAPs. Stay safe, that city ain't a kind one. :-)
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# Eric Ifune 2011-02-22 18:15
As a physican with the USAF and one tour of Afghanistan completed, will follow your reports with great interest
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# Bill Mitchell 2011-02-22 19:55
Michael, Your images of these armored trucks brought back memories of seeing similar vehicles in use by the South African police as they patrolled the townships outside of Cape Town during apartied in the mid 1980's
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# Bob Opyd 2011-02-23 02:19
I know that road well. Driven down it a LOT this past year. Where are you heading? Give me a heads up I know the NDS commander for Kandahar Province and he owes me a favor.
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# Pat 2011-02-23 03:23
I'm here too in Afghan. It would be an honor to meet you. How?
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# Eric Frazier 2011-02-23 03:24
Dear Mr. Yon,

Thank you for what you are doing. I feel that you are one of the few reporters who will give us straight information - particularly since you are going out where the story is located - unlike many coorespondents who write from their hotel rooms.

Take care,

Eric Frazier
Chapel Hill, NC
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# chuckin Toledo 2011-02-23 04:42
Michael, Thanks for these updates . I am signing up now to make a small monthly donation to your ministry of information and fun encouragement.
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# Donny 2011-02-23 05:34
glad you're back in the sandbox. Your incisive insight, analysis and ability to tell the real story make your blog a must read for me. If you could get over to 1/2 SCR AO and send a few reports back I'd appreciate it. I have a vested interest in that unit. It also would be good place to embed. The Cav guys never get any publicity-its all 10th Mountain, the 101st (not that they dont deserve it. Finances are tight for me right now but I will try to contribute a little to you fund.
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# Corey 2011-02-23 15:22
They are manufactured outside of Charleston, SC by a company called Force Protection. From their website : "Our charge: bring heroes home safely"
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# Thai 2011-02-23 19:40
The thumbs up is really make this picture COMPLETED and become the picture!

Mike, safety first! May all the BLESSES and best be with you.

Hope to see you in BKK soon.
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# asif ali 2011-02-24 09:03
Well, this is embarrassing BUT thumbs-up to the rag-tag army who has proved that Afghanistan is still the "Graveyard of Empires" and the local despite the unavailability of sophisticated weapons, eyes in the skies, lethal missiles and never ending supplies of drug and money are giving HELL to the invaders.
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# Jordan 2011-02-26 06:50
I saw Brits rolling in mini versions of these in N Ireland. It made me feel like "they must be really scared" and "every thing outside their armored boxes must belong to the enemy"
One of the original SF guys there said they looked so native the locals didn't know they were American till they pulled a US weapon out of their robes...I'd be happier if more of us were the invisible ones...Riding around blind (can't tell a Taliban from a local) like armored ducks in a shooting gallery makes them look powerful and us like aliens. We need to figure out how to make them do the guessing about who/where we are... Can't we use web cams to watch them as carefully as they watch us? It's in the heads of men where wars are won, as Boyd would say...I can't help but feel we are using very big clubs when an ice pick would work better...
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# frank 2011-02-28 03:46
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# cmholm 2011-03-20 06:12
While recognizing that the thumb was appropriate between North Americans, I wonder if it has the same meaning for Pashtuns as it does for Persians (eg. a vulgarity)?
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