News: A linen story: the clean version
Story by Capt. Jason Smith
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – The Internet debate rages on – Are those hotel sheets actually clean, or did someone else sleep on them first?
In his 1982 Billboard No. 1 single, Don Henley sang, “People love it when you lose; they love dirty laundry.”
Senior Airman Christopher Price, like other airmen, respectfully disagrees with Henley. Price likes to see airmen win. He also started a program to make sure they have clean sheets.
“In one month, we’ve issued linen to over 95 people,” said Price, 451st Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron. “That’s roughly $4,305 saved [versus purchasing the items locally].”
Price, who is deployed from Pope Field, N.C., started working at the Billeting Office at Camp Bradley Smith Nov. 9, 2013. Although inbound airmen should know to bring their own linen, Price said some people overlook the requirement, and some are just passing through.
“People don’t want to sleep on bare mattresses,” said Price. “Some of the mattresses are old and might have discolored areas. We’re in the desert.”
Master Sgt. Jason Davis, 451st Expeditionary Mission Support Group first sergeant, said Price is the mastermind behind what he calls “Operation Linen.”
“The quality of life hinges on an inbound airman to be able to hit the rack and get rested for the mission and task at hand,” said Davis. “It’s hard to do when you don’t have linens.”
Price’s plan was simple. He started collecting linens and pillows as people left. In a short amount of time, he collected a lot of linen which also required a lot of laundering.
“I’m running about 15 laundry bags per day,” said Price. “Some people just use the linens for a few days, and some use it a lot longer.”
All KAF airmen are welcomed to sign out sheets, pillows and blankets as available, said Price. Operation Linen will continue to take donated items from people leaving also. Interested donors or receivers just need to stop in the billeting office at CBS.
Airmen at KAF can rest easy knowing if they received sheets as part of Operation Linen, those sheets will be clean. Now that Price has tackled Henley’s “Dirty Laundry” lyrics, maybe someone pulling rear security can contradict Henley’s 1984 “The Boys of Summer” guidance of “Don’t look back. You can never look back.”