KAJAKI DAM, Afghanistan --
Being located in one of the most remote forward operating bases in Helmand province, Afghanistan, the Marines operating in Kajaki have an even greater appreciation for small luxuries, like the ability to purchase snacks and other comfort items from the local convenience store or post exchange. But you won’t find any convenience stores around here.
That’s why two Marines with 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), made a special trip to the Kajaki Dam to bring the Marines a bit of home on Christmas, Dec. 25.
Sgt. Alan L. Lewis, a Marine Corps community services specialist, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), and Cpl. Alex P. Jones, Disbursing clerk, H&S Co., 1st MLG (FWD), brought a few small comforts of home in the form of a “mobile PX,” a makeshift post exchange stocked with snacks, drinks, magazines and other items they wouldn’t normally find on the small FOB.
The Marines are happy knowing they helped boost their fellow Marines’ morale on Christmas.
"We brought to the Marines in Kajaki just a little bit of home," said Lewis, 24, from Pittsburgh. "Basically, things you would find in the [Army and Air Force Exchange Service] on Camp Leatherneck."
The Marines with 1st Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division (Forward), who are used to operating in Kajaki’s austere conditions, enjoyed the arrival of the mobile exchange on Christmas day.
"It’s better than nothing," said Cpl. Sean R. Kennedy, a radio operator with Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 10th Marines, 1st MarDiv (FWD)."If you put in your request you get what you want; anything that they bring is better than if they didn't bring anything."
The trip was a success for many reasons, said Lewis.
"Sales for the trip here went very well," said Lewis, "but more importantly we were able to service over 218 Marines in under 24 hours."
For the two 1st MLG (FWD) Marines, the most important part of the mission was bringing the comforts of home to Marines who otherwise wouldn’t have had access to the small luxuries their mobile PX provided.
"I feel great about being able to do this," said Lewis. “It's nice to bring a little bit of home to anyone, no matter where they are. Everyone's always appreciative that we're here."