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A Cook-Out Brings Home To Afghanistan


Throughout our show this Memorial Day weekend, members of the 182nd National Guard are sharing memories of a year spent at war.

SPECIALIST KORY DESMOND: I am Specialist Kory Desmond and some of my memories is of a cookout. When I got to Afghanistan on this little base, it's right on the Pakistan border basically, the eastern part of Afghanistan. Me and couple of guys thought to cook for a cookout. And after our whole summer there in Afghanistan and not being able to have any cookouts, it was a pretty good time.

We did it right in our little living area. For the grill, they had a big 50 gallon drum half grill that they put together. It got welded, these different metals just to make a grill top. We were able to get some cookies and potato salad from the dining facility. But one of my friends, Rick, he's like a junior chef or something like that - we were able to get some spices and stuff from some civilian engineers. And we invited them to the cookout, as well, because of it.

And with all those spices we got from them, we added them to the burgers, to the chicken, and barbecue sauce just made the taste somewhat better. We had the cookout all night. They made this game - two plywood boards with the hole in (unintelligible) and beanbags (unintelligible). So they called it Corn Hole or something. They made that and we had that for outside barbecue games.

The cookout was at least 30, 40 people. We just kept cooking and cooking. It was like when you have a big cookout for your friends back home and you just keep throwing on more burgers, and you're stuck their all day. Unfortunately, we didn't have beers but it felt like a normal day to us; closest we could get, I suppose.

MARTIN: Specialist Kory Desmond. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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