"The Lost Boondoggle" is the next installment in the poetic memoir of my adventures in Indonesia. I am not sure how well this is known, but only a small United States military presence was allowed by the Indonesian government to take direct part in the tsunami relief effort of 2004/2005. There were various reasons for this, not the least of which was a fear for the safety of the US troops in the chaos that followed the disaster.
I was one of hundreds if not thousands of United States Air Force personnel who deployed to Thailand in early 2005 and expected to deploy further into tsunami-striken Indonesia. However, as far as I know, only about two dozen US airmen were allowed to move forward. Through a series of fortunate circumstances, I was in a position to volunteer to be one of them--but only at the cost of sacrificing a sweet boondoggle at a Thai resort.