Halloween in the ‘stan

2005, Stuttgart, Germany --  My favorite Halloween pic of Taj and I.  Obviously, I won’t be able to trick or treat with him tonight.
2005, Stuttgart, Germany —
My favorite Halloween pic of Taj and I. Obviously, I won’t be able to trick or treat with him tonight.

On the left is my favorite Halloween picture of Taj and I. Below are other pics of past Halloweens. (For those of you viewing this on Facebook, this page is best viewed on my website, darricklee.com.)

Of course, we’re not trick-or-treating here at Bagram Air Field. And, we’re CERTAINLY not going door to door in Afghan communities.

Can you imagine?

“Trick or Treat!”


… Yeah, I’ll pass on celebrating Halloween in the ‘stan.

But still, those of us who remembered tried to mark the day with something. Occasionally I saw some civilian contractors walking around the base with rabbit ears or cat ears on. (Military people can’t wear costumes with their uniforms.)

2007 Halloween

And, in the chow hall today, they had some nice orange-n-black pastries. The chow hall usually does a good job of reminding us what holiday it is. Sometimes, I’ll walk in there not knowing that it’s a holiday until I see the festive table decorations.

I didn’t go on any missions today, and I’m glad I didn’t. Although I’m not overly superstitious, I admit I might be a bit hesitant about going outside the wire on Halloween. Doing that is scary enough without doing it on “the day of the dead!”

SI ExifActually, I don’t put a lot of stock in Halloween, especially ever since Taj was born. I’m sure you agree that Halloween has lost it’s bite.

It’s for kids now. If you actually wear scary costumes, parents give you funny looks. It’s easier to find a smiling happy ghost costume than it is to find a really scary one. And, I don’t know WHO came up with the brilliant idea of trick-or-treating during the daytime, but they need to be whipped with a long licorice rope. Yeah, the Disney-fication of Halloween has taken all the fun out of it for me.

Taj's First Halloween 004

But I still like seeing Taj’s excitement for it. This year, I thinkhe’s going to be a skeleton. I’ll never forget his first Halloween. Taj was a chili pepper! His next year, he was Spiderman (while I was Superman.)

During his first two years, he really didn’t have much of an understanding of what Halloween was, so for his third one, we just went with Spiderman again. (I don’t think he remembered that he wore it once before.)

He was a ninja during our last year in Germany, and even Muna and I got in on the act that year, because it was the first time he seemed to want to choose what he wanted to be.


Now he’s in full swing, anticipating Halloween every year. On most military installations, they allow the kids to collect their goodies safely (in the daytime,) and they usually go inside before it gets too dark (or too cold.) So, Taj has never experienced a “real” trick-or-treat session … You know, in a civilian community, with wild teenagers actin’ a fool, causing mischief or playing tricks on people.

On second thought, I guess it’s a good thing he hasn’t.

Happy Halloween!

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