BAGRAM AIRFIELD — A female Army private is proud to receive some recognition today, after media outlets learned that she holds the record for longest-serving soldier in Afghanistan.
Private Amanda Holder, standing at five feet tall and a hundred and seventy-two pounds, spoke candidly to Duffel Blog reporters.
The 27-year old soldier was only 19 when she first landed at Bagram Airfield eight years ago.
"I'm looking forward to my ninth year here. It's been so much fun, I see no point in leaving. Another year of salsa nights, Coffee Bean chats, and a whole new rotation of men to meet. I mean friends. I like to meet new friends."
But it hasn't been all fun and games for Private Holder. Besides the occasional insurgent attack, where she hides in her favorite bunker she has since decorated with Christmas lights and a recliner, Holder has been the target of JAG officers for almost her entire stay.
"I've been court-martialed for fraternization seventeen times," Holder said. "It's why I'm still a private. But a girl has to have her fun, right? I say, get play over pay any day."
Holder smiles, adding, "It took me three years to come up with that rhyme."
Holder's family has tried to convince her to return after she stopped taking leave during her third tour. Her brother, fellow Afghanistan veteran Josh Holder, is the only family member to support his sister.
"I don't blame her," Josh said. "It's like she lives in some magical alternate universe. If my tour consisted of never seeing combat, making tons of money and everyone wanting to bang me, I'd never come home either."
Rumors as to why Private Holder has continued to extend have circulated Bagram for years. In a candid moment, Holder finally came clean.
"Let's be honest, back home I'm only a questionable two in a dark alley. But I'm a solid seven here, depending on how long the guy is into his deployment."
Surprisingly, it's not incoming mortar attacks or her impending eighteenth court martial that Holder fears. It's American forces getting bogged down in another Vietnam with no end in sight.
"I say a little prayer every night," Holder said. "That God willing, we pull out and finally go home so we can invade Iran. I need a change of scenery."