Skip to content

A reader’s message from Afghanistan

May 21, 2011, 2:00 PM EST

Photo courtesy Lucas Tomlinson

You may recall the great 24-hour disappearance of Nats Insider last week due to a crash of Google's Blogger platform. Many of you were kind enough to email and ask whether the site was OK and when it would be back up online, and I appreciated all of those messages.

But only one of you, so far as I know, contacted me from Afghanistan.

Here's an email I received from loyal reader Lucas Tomlinson. (As you can tell by the reference to the Braves series, it's a week old.)…

    Love your work.
    I am operating out of a Patrol Base in the Zhari desert of Kandahar Province in southern Afghanistan.
    Despite being in the middle of nowhere, we have a nice wireless connection which keeps me glued to your blog. I was like, "What happened? Zuckerman go subscription on me?" I was back on the next day without missing a beat.
    Hope you enjoy the photo of a Nationals hat I put on a young Afghan boy and

Read more »

  1. TimDz - May 21, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    Lucas…thank you and your fellow service men and women for your continual service to our country. Please be safe and come home soon.

  2. S.U. Sasskuash - May 21, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    Lucas,Thank you for your service and sacrifice for our country. I think I speak for NatsTown and the U.S. when I say we're proud of the work you and you're team are doing over there. Please come home safe, and I hope you get over to Nats Park soon.Good luck and God bless.P.S. Thanks for expanding the Nats fan base while you're over there too! The more the merrier.

  3. We are the Arzaga's - May 21, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    Go Nats! hoooaaah!

  4. dj in Fl. - May 21, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    Great photo of the kid Lucas. Glad you can be part of the group from Afghanistan. Do not worry Mark going subscription on you, we got your back there.Stay safe, and if your faimly needs anything, just let us know.

  5. John C. - May 21, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    Lucas, we honor you for your service! Keep your head down, do your job and come home safely. Good to see the curly W making inroads in the unlikeliest of places :)

  6. Tedv15 2 - May 21, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Thank you Mark for sharing and the opportunity to communicate with Lucas. Lucas,Thank you for all you do and your service to our country. May God bless you, protect you and send you home safe.All the best Lucas.GO NATS!

  7. masnstinks - May 21, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    After a week during which we whined excessively over a game — it's all about perspective.

  8. BethesdaFan - May 21, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    What a great posting. Thank you both. And thanks to the bloggers, who help make this my most viewed site.

  9. Andrew - May 21, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    Thank you for all you do, Lucas. Hope you come back soon (not intended to be a political statement!) and enjoy a couple of Nationals games. By the way, we need to find a way to send unsold jerseys and hats to Afghanistan. I'd love to see thousands of people wear Vidro and Wilkerson t-shirts…

  10. Les in NC - May 21, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    Thank You, Lucas, and God bless you and your fellow service members, as well as your families!!

  11. DJ - May 21, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    Very touching! Lucas thank you for your service. Love my fellow Nats fans!!!

  12. Anonymous - May 21, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    Lucas… tell the Afghan kid if he sees a strange man on a Segway, with yellow hair and bloodshot eyes, offering "bonus money," run!

  13. Doc - May 21, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    Hey Lucas,More than the Nats winning, we want you and your platoon to win!Hope you get back safe and sound. Thanks for your message Lucas, you made my day.

  14. Anonymous - May 21, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    Lucas, we are grateful for what you and your team do for all of us back home and look forward to your return. Perhaps MZ can arrange with the nats to have you throw out the first pitch in a game upon your arrival back in the states!! JTinSC

  15. Stranded_in_Philly - May 21, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    Lucas,Thank you for your service. Get back safely!

  16. Andrew - May 21, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    Love it! Glad you graced us with this wonderful story!

  17. Nattydread - May 21, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    LucasThanks for this story, photos and mostly your service. Stay safe.Mark,It is really nice for us DC ex-pats to be able to log on site and read about the Nationals. Where I am, we only get Premier League soccer, cricket and rugby. I check in at least three times a day and feel right at home.Asante

  18. Joe Seamhead - May 21, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    Where's the "like" button? Great post, Mark!

  19. Anonymous - May 21, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    And thank you for spreading the cult (and hats) of the curly-W world-wide!

  20. Doc - May 21, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    Lucas,Do you think that the little fellow in the curly W hat can play CF?Maybe we could give him a tryout??

  21. slade - May 21, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    Lucas, great story and a here's hoping you get home soon…a cold one is waiting for you at the Red Porch

  22. Anonymous - May 21, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    God bless you my friend and many thanks for your service. Be safe and here's to hoping for your return soon. Go Nats!

  23. nicefellow31 - May 21, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    Hey Lucas. Be safe and careful over there (even though it appears you are an Army guy)USAF MSgt Ret.

  24. Tim - May 21, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    Lucas,You're not the Neg-Anon are you?Just kidding…Thanks for serving! You're now added to my prayer list!

  25. Anonymous - May 21, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    Lucas – My young son and I thank you for you service to our country. Please tell all the other guys thanks as well. We think of you guys often. Now that your pic is posted, I'll keep an eye out for you at Nats Park – if we see you, you'll get free beers and Ben's Chili Bowl from this Nats Fan!!

  26. Suicide Squeeze - May 21, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    Lucas — Thank you to you and all the other soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and civilian (especially our intel guys) over there and worldwide for your sacrifice and dedication.Get home safely! Beers and dogs on us!Thank you!

  27. natsfan1a - May 21, 2011 at 8:05 PM

    Lucas, thank you so much for your service, and thanks to Mark for posting this. Stay safe and hope to see you throwing out the first pitch (and hoisting a cold one) at Nats Park one day!In the mean time, as others have noted, maybe we could arrange a supply route to get you something you may be in need of or missing. Take care!

  28. LoveDaNats - May 21, 2011 at 9:45 PM

    Lucas,With much gratitude, thank you for your service. Let us know when you are safely back. I've got two tickets to a Nats game for you and I suspect Mark would help pass them along.God bless.

  29. Sec3MySofa - May 21, 2011 at 10:30 PM

    You rock, dude!

  30. Nats fan in NJ - May 21, 2011 at 10:36 PM

    Lucas – Repeating what many here have said, but is true for each of us. You and your fellow soldiers are heroes to us. Words don't adequately relay our appreciation. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  31. Anonymous - May 22, 2011 at 1:24 AM

    Lucas, Thank you and your buddies for your service. Stay safe. And as others have said, you let us know when you are back and going to your first Nats game after this tour and I'll be there! I have to at least buy you a couple beers and dogs or anything else you want!Mark, Thank you for sharing. My son is studying abroad in Wellington, New Zealand and checks this blog often. So we know you have fans around the world!Gary, Bowie, MD and Jack, Wellington, NZ

  32. Anonymous - May 22, 2011 at 6:27 PM

    OK, I work with Lucas' brother and he sends me a link to this blog, I look at the picture without reading the post and I say, "Wow, this guy looks just like YOU." LOL. PLEASE STAY SAFE!

  33. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 23, 2011 at 1:29 AM

    Lucas, I join all my NI brethren and sisters in thanking you and your compatriots for service to our country. You are the genuine heroes. Thanks for holding the fort for all of us. Come home quickly and safely. No chance the little kid in the Nats cap can play first base, is there? Best,

  34. Anonymous - May 23, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    Hey Lucas, I was thinking about this as I was riding my motorcycle into work today (Dulles Airport Area to DC) passing Nats Park, past the monuments, etc…..Please share with your team….I really love being able to Ride into work every morning. What a great country we live in! Those in the Military sacrifice so much for such little freedoms like that. Thank you for Serving.I hope you and your team can make it in for a game soon.

  35. Unkyd - May 24, 2011 at 1:38 AM

    Thanks, Lucas! Many, many if us think of you guys everyday, and count you among our blessings.

  36. ANGELA H PAULI - Aug 2, 2011 at 7:32 AM

    Great post! ;)Stay safe, Lucas.





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter