The only TV we get here is the Armed Forces Network. AFN carries the most popular programs in the States, as well as all major U.S. sporting events. It’s been a godsend to us. I don’t know what Allyson would do without America’s Next Top Model, Lost, and Amazing Race. (And I don’t know what I would do without Judge Judy and Dr. Phil.)
AFN doesn’t carry commercials. Instead it shows public service announcements and military news. It’s been said that AFN is what TV would be like if it was programmed by your mother. Based on what I’ve seen on AFN, the greatest dangers facing our troops are not Islamic insurgents and IEDs, but smokeless tobacco, motorcycle accidents, and STF (slips, trips, and falls).
One of my favorite AFN spots is one for the Army’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit. These are the people who disarm bombs. Not surprisingly, there are always a lot of openings in this unit. The spot is meant to encourage soldiers to volunteer for EOD by reminding them that the unit offers “extra pay” (which seems only right), “marketable job skills” (not sure about that one: “Hey, there’s a bomb on aisle six that needs disarmed”), and, my personal favorite, “a high potential for promotion."