Every soldier I spoke to was the same, proud, committed, raring to go. But a few minutes later I was wandering towards a long line of plastic portable toilets. I was hailed by two young soldiers lounging in one of those huge American Humvee jeeps.
Clearly these two were not part of the guided tour.
"Excuse me sir," they asked. "But do we really have to say this baloney?"
The actual word they used was a little more colourful.
"What baloney?" I asked. They handed me a small laminated card.
On it were instructions on how to deal with journalists. Every soldier had been given one.
These were not just general ground rules. It actually listed suggested answers:
"How do you feel about what you're doing in Afghanistan"?
Answer: "We're united in our purpose and committed to achieving our goals."
"How long do you think that will take?" Answer: "We will stay here as long as it takes to get the job done - sir!"