Monday, September 08, 2008 at 1:05 pm
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – In the predawn chill of 4 a.m., in uniform, in silence interrupted only by the morning chirp of hungry birds and a distant muezzin’s call to prayer, the soldiers of Bagram lined up at attention along Disney Drive.
Behind the avenue, to the east, four vehicles — two white trucks and two Humvees — waited to drive down the strip, rendered pitch black by the giant flood lights behind them. When the call sounded, they drove slowly off, greeted by the salute of the soldiers flanking them.
The only soldiers not saluting were seated along the edge of the Humvees, three to a side, 12 in total, and they flanked the trucks’ cargo: the flag-draped coffins of two fallen comrades, two more to have died in the bloodiest year for the U.S. in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion.
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