The men and women who are part of our Armed Forces are incredible people. They have volunteered a part of each of their lives in order to help our country maintain the freedoms and liberties that we all enjoy. They work long, hard hours and when they are deployed they are often faced with conditions and circumstances that would break lessor individuals.
Some of their experiences are more unusual than most. Over the next couple of weeks, I’d like to share some of the ghost stories I’ve heard from some of the members of our Armed Forces. I hope you enjoy them.
This story was told to me by a young man who was deployed with his Army National Guard Unit to Afghanistan in 2009. Their unit was sent to be security forces for people who were rebuilding the infrastructure of the war torn country. The camps, called F.O.B.s (Forward Operating Bases) were remote and usually in the desert. They were surrounded by tall fences that had razor wire in front and on top of them. The main gate opened up to a narrow roadway, about 200 yards long, that was also surrounded by tall fences and razor wire and led to a guard building at the very end. So anyone coming in or out of the FOB had to go down the roadway and pass by the guard building.
The roadway had tall light posts distributed every ten yards or so on either side from the gate to the guard building, that would create pools of light in the dark of the Afghan night.
One night this young man and another soldier had pulled the night shift. The young man had stepped out of the small building to look around while his companion remained inside. A movement down towards the gate caught his eye and, gun in hand, he moved around the building to the roadway. There in a pool of light he saw an old, Afghani villager slowly walking towards them. Many Afghani worked on the FOB during the day, but they were all supposed to leave before dark. It was unusual to have someone on base this late.
The soldier called to his buddy, who also exited the building.
“Look at that,” he said, pointing down towards the main gate.
Once again, they watched as the old man slowly walked out from the darkness and moved into another pool of light.
“What the hell is he doing out here so late at night?” his buddy asked.
“Good question,” the first soldier replied. “Let’s ask him when he gets up here.”
They watched him disappear into the dark as he moved away from one circle of light and then waited for him to reappear in the next. And waited. And waited.
“What the hell?” the first one asked, pulling a high-beam flashlight out and shining it down the narrow road.
No one was on the road.
“You saw him, right?” the second soldier asked the first.
“Yeah, I did,” the first replied, goosebumps running up his arms. “And I hope I never see him again.”