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I was an employee/ contractor for another company in Afghanistan in 2006-2009. During my time there, I was part of a group of trades man that traveled from Forward Operating base to Forward Operating Base servicing the American Military.

One night, while on a FOB 12,000 feet above sea level, we literally got hit with a snowstorm that dumped 6 feet of wet snow. The main pole on one side of our tent we were sleeping in collapsed. In the middle of the night, we gathered up our stuff and slept on the tables of the DEFACT or dining hall.

Because the lack of hard structures available, we were forced to sleep in with the soldiers. Which is an honor, but also very crowded.

After the storm subsided the next afternoon, the weather turned to bitter cold, especially at night. So cold, when you got up in the morning, your coffee would literally freeze in your cup within minutes of pouring it.

Right after the storm, We, cleaned off most of the snow from the tent. We were just trying to salvage our sleeping areas and get our stuff. Just one end of the tent was in the air. The side I slept on., which was the furthest from the heater.

Well, little did we know that this cold front was moving in. I had my 3-part Wiggy's bag, good for 70 below. The rest of the guys who decided to try and stay in the tent with me that night, had other bags. I was not even a sleep yet, and they were turning blue running for a warm place to stay. I slept all night and woke up well rested ... (till my feet hit the floor). Those other guys had to fight for bunks in a 16 x16 foot room lined with soldiers from floor to ceiling.

By the end of the trip, those poor guys looked pretty haggard ... For the next week, I was the only one in the tent and slept just fine. It was like having my own hooch. What a wonderful thing.

I carried my Wiggy's bag all over Afghanistan in a compression sack. It was not too big, or bulky. I always had to pack light. I needed to haul materials and equipment for my job. There was no room for extras, except for the bag... it always went with me. It was something soft to lay on during the hot summers, and was warm during the coldest of nights... You just don't leave home without it .

Since that time, I have bought bags for my stepdad and wife. Now I am buying another bag for a client and friend of mine. She is only a fair-weather camper, but if the world ever comes to an end, and she needs a good bag... she will have it.... If they only came in pink.

Brett McDonnell

Brett much thanks for sharing your experience with me and as a consequence with my readers. I take great pride in receiving stories like yours and having an outlet with which to share them, my blog.

During the years that we were in Afghanistan I received a number of orders from soldiers for my bags. some have told me they never took the issue bag out of the plastic wrapping and when they left the military, they gave the bag back unused.

Another benefit I have received happens to be when soldiers buy my bags for their families.

Having received this story warms my heart. It was as good away to start the day as I could have expected.

Now will the military wake up!

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