BAGRAM, AFGHANISTAN - In what has been described as the most heart-warming story to come out of Afghanistan since The Kite Runner and Operation Moshtarek, the entire airbase of Bagram recently turned itself into Gotham City for a day to let broadcast journalist Staff Sgt. Jesse Dyer play Batman.
Service members throughout the base took a break from their daily routines to help Batman rescue a strategy in distress, stop a visiting USO group from bombing onstage, and help authorities catch the villain "Two-Face," graciously played by Afghan president Hamid Karzai.
As the adorable 36-year old Staff Noncommissioned Officer from North Carolina, who was battling an extreme case of boredom, ran around the airbase he was cheered on by large crowds, shouting things like "Go Batman!", "What are they serving for chow?", and "So when I get my campaign medal I can go home, right?"
Gen. Joseph Dunford, commanding general of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, briefly stopped his status-of-force negotiations with the Afghan government to dress up as the mayor of Gotham and ask Batman to either catch the Joker or come up with a sustainable long-term troop presence in the country, "whichever was easier."
Later Staff Sgt. Dyer received a congratulatory phone call from President Obama, who thanked Batman and added, "If this is what you can do for Gotham, I sure could use your help dealing with Syria and Iran." Everyone laughed until he kept talking. "No really. We have no idea what's going on. Somebody come help--" before the phone call was abruptly cut off.
According to military sources, the entire event was brought on when the perpetually cheerful staff sergeant went into a deep fit of depression because no one seemed to want to wear their reflective belts.
His fellow soldiers were originally going to cheer him up with just a Batman cape and hood, but when ISAF deputy commander Lt Gen. John Lorimer found out, he dramatically expanded the scope of the event.
"If just one soldier on this base is feeling down, the whole war effort suffers," Lorimer explained. He shrugged off criticism over the $250,000 spent on hosting the event, as well as the resultant riots in Kabul that left 20 dead after a news outlet reported that "The Caped Crusader" was in town.
"So some police and contractors won't get their monthly kickbacks. What's really important is the bright smile we get so see on this soldier's face."
The U.S. Army has helped fulfill similar wishes in the past, such as when it spent $2 trillion invading Iraq so Gen. Tommy Franks could pretend to be Norman Schwarzkopf.