Mideast tour: Camp Buehring, Kuwait
August 26, 2007
We’ve been seeing a lot of this.
These are the result of a government contract. They are not as popular as McDonald’s. Soldiers who sleep in tents and have to relieve themselves in porta-potties nevertheless have access to Chicken McNuggets and Frappucinos. Those are some strange priorities.
Autograph and photo session after the show.
More of the same. Soldiers who are just passing through often don’t have a place to put their guns, and are thus required to carry them at all times. Including to comedy shows, and chow. The dining halls have signs about where to point your muzzle when you sit down to eat.
Signing hats! Wrote lots of “Stay safe!”
Someone had me sign an Iranian bill. The guy was sending autographed foreign money to his kids, kind of a 2-for-1 souvenir. Kid Rock had come through and signed an Iraqi bill for him.
We shot M-16s in a simulation exercise.
You really do have to reload these things all the freaking time. You might kind of think that the most powerful military in the world would magically have shoot-’em-up guns like in the movies, guns that never have to be reloaded unless it’s a crucial plot moment for the hero, but real guns don’t work that way. You have to carry lots of magazine clips and people shoot at you while you are reloading and the gun is really heavy after the first five minutes.
I really try not to be the kind of person who worries about how her ass looks when trying to shoot simulated terrorists.
Here’s an example of the targets at which we were shooting. This was one of the live-action simulations that also tested you on ethics, as opposed to the video-game style ones in which you are supposed to shoot anything that moves.
Anthony is a Naval dentist who was helping out with the tour. He took the shooting photos above.
As comics, it’s important to keep in mind the mood of our audience; sometimes it’s a holiday show, or it’s a Friday night and people are happy to be chilling after work, or it’s a blizzard outside and the few people there really, really wanted to be at the show. Or whatever.
Some of the camps in Kuwait are used primarily for training, and some as waystations and supply stations on the way to and from Iraq. Buehring has few permanent troops; for most soldiers, it’s a first stop in the Mideast before being shipped off to one’s real destination.
In brief: an audience leaving for Iraq in the morning laughs less.