We have several units supporting schools and children in AFG. As you can imagine, it is important but very dangerous work. The Taliban do not support education for women or young girls and educating the people of Afghanistan is critical to their survival and success in this world -- and critical to their overall security long term.
3 NOV 2013: We have been supporting the VCR team for years now in the Kabul area. There are schools, orphans and locals there who have been displaced by war. Education is so very important and we all know how the Taliban and their extremist views have kept education from young girls. It's critical that we continue to help our Troops make inroads with the local populace, especially as the drawdown continues and these people are left more vulnerable. The more allies the better for them! Winter is coming and good clothes, and shoes are needed - as well as girls clothes and school supplies.
20 FEB 2013: Have a request for supplies for Afghan children in the Kabul area. Here are the current needs: Blankets, 3-ring binders, Loose-leaf notebook paper, Athletic shoes and socks of all sizes, Teenage girls' underwear and bras, Feminine hygiene supplies, Toothpaste, English dictionaries, English movies (culturally appropriate), Light bulbs.
The pictures that follow are from one of our units in the South. They have suffered losses and have been attacked themselves, but they are also fighting terrorism on the education front. The pictures of the school below were taken after a Taliban force took refuge in a local school after being run off after an attack on our forces. They killed the schoolmaster and his assistant. The children were on summer break so no children were in danger. But the school suffered damage as ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) forces took back the school.
Repairs were made, nice new paint was applied and now the kids are back to school. Our unit, with the help of supporters such as Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon and others, supplied school supplies and toys for the children. These were distributed by town elders with security help from AFG police and ISAF. Enjoy these pictures. It shows hope for the future. And thanks to LTC John D and his units for the great work!.
We recently sent one of our units a bunch of blankets and towels and such for a local orphanage. Our Troops do a lot of good over in AFG but we don't hear much about it. One of the things is supporting those institutions that take care of children who have lost parents in the wars.
Recent Thank You from COL William C -
"Thank you very much for donating the blankets for the Kabul Orphanages! Blankets were specifically requested by the Orphanage staff, so I know that they will be much appreciated. Donations like yours allow us to continue our Orphanage Outreach program here in Kabul. That program not only helps disadvantaged local children, but it also is a big morale booster to the U.S. troops stationed here who volunteer their time to support the program. We love visiting the orphanages and providing the children with items that will make their lives better. I think that it also helps to foster goodwill between the common Afghan people and Americans. Thanks again for your generosity and thoughtfulness. Sincerely, COL Bill C, Kabul, Afghanistan" Mar 16, 2013
Our latest unit supporting local kids is Charlie Co, 1-126 CAV, 2-8 INF. We've just picked them up!
Female Engagement Team from the 1/8 Marines: (L to R) LCpl Kristi B, HN Shannon Cr and Sgt. Sheena A are helping to build Afghan schools and distribute supplies to the children.
SCHOOL at BAGRAM Air Field, AFG: Our adoptee, 1LT Martha G (L), of the 101st Airborne Div (AASLT), with two Afghan girls and another soldier, is the leader of the program to improve literacy of Afghan girls at Bagram AF, AFG. AaSP is supporting the school by sending used laptops and school supplies donated by our great supporters and benefactors.
OUR efforts in AFG continue. Currently, we are supporting the 22nd Naval Construction Regiment (Seabees) and Charlie Troop, 1-126 CAV, 2-8 IN.
Both units have asked us for school supplies, stuffed animals and the like for the local kids. We're on the case (as of 18 Mar 2012) and we are supporting Chief Mark B of the 22nd and SGT Jason H of the Charlie Troop. Thanks Chief B for letting us know what you need and thanks Linda Arnold of the Piedmont Patriots for giving us the contact. Thanks also to Jason and thanks Jonathan for giving us the contact. We've already started shipping goodies to them.
We recently had a unit from the 98th Division in AFG helping an Afghan Refugee Camp (see News story) and we had a unit in Iraq (77th Sustainment Bde) taking care of Iraqi children as part of their mission.
Earlier in 2011 -- we helped a new school for Afghan girls coordinated by the 101st Airborne (AASLT) in Bagram Air Field, AFG. A pilot school program, beginning with 40 Afghan girls, will get these girls into school, learning skills and getting them ready for a better life.
We recently received 40 used laptops from Unilever, a large Anglo/Dutch corporation with large presence in US, from its IT Dept. The laptops came complete with docking stations, power cords and CD/DVD drives too! Thank you Scott C, Vinnie D, Lillian R and the Desktop Support group and the IT Leadership Team for this outstanding donation!!
The school can use basic school supplies, such as pencils, pens, markers, rulers (metric), scissors, composition books, pads and small backbacks. Additionally, they need software. If you can help, or get your corporation or organization to help in any way, PLEASE LET US KNOW!We will let you know who steps forward. Already, Bryan Cave Law firm and Unilever are supporting this initiative for us.
Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon has a long tradition of helping the children of Iraq and Afghanistan, dating back to such initiatives as Operation Hearts and Minds in 2006-2007 and before that our relationship with the Hawaii ARNG in 2005. We've sent soccer balls and uniforms, clothes, kites, school supplies and even paid expenses to an Iraqi family so they could go to Jordan and accompany their infant daughter for an important medical procedure (this produced intel for our soldiers that saved lives!) The children of Iraq and Afghanistan are the future of those great nations and we're proud to help in any way we can! Our servicemen and women are doing an outstanding job in this area!!!
We are currently supporting units that take care of local children in Afghanistan as our Iraq connections have redeployed home. (If there are any units in Iraq that would like to distribute to the children there please let us know):
Outside Bagram AB - The Paladins care for the children outside the base. Pictures (above) show children and the families receiving stuffed animals, soccer balls and clothing. A new initiative just came in from the 101st Airborne Div (AASLT), which has started a pilot school for Afghan girls at Bagram. We have also been supporting the 438th AEW, who are currently training the Afghan Air Force. We provide supplies for the AAF trainees' children.
98th DIV - Our adoptee SFC Chris B has been active helping an Afghan Refugee Camp
Bagram AF - Both the Paladins and 101st Airborne Div (AASLT) have great initiatives there.
Southern AFG - Several Marine units support the children there (all done through local elders supporting the COIN strategy)
Balad, Iraq - The 77th Sustainment Bde is supporting the children and Iraqi families there
NOTE: (as of 24 April 11) Please send shoes, sneakers and flip flops are always in demand so if you want to help please send low cost new shoes (absolutely no beat up or dirty sneakers please, thanks). School supplies are also always needed. Rebuilding schools is a major piece of the strategy to get the Afghan people on the road to stability and directly impacts the families there after Taliban repression. Send pens, pencils, markers, chalk, children's scissors, paper glue sticks, composition books, back packs in excellent condition. Laptops and Desktops and software are also needed for schools. Stuffed animals in new or excellent condition only, soccer balls, kites and toys in new or excellent condition only. Appropriate children's books (non-religious please and easy to follow).
Marine from the 3/7 hands out a beanie baby bear to a small Afghan girl in Delaram, AFG.
AaSP Operation Children Care Pays Dividends in Afghanistan
One of the units AaSP has been supporting has been the 438th AEW. They have been working tirelessly to help the children in the regions of Kabul and of northern Afghanistan. CLICK HERE to view a story on their success. Thanks to our adoptee, 1SGT Bubba B. for spearheading this operation! Great job!
Special 438th Benefactors: Bryan Cave Law Firm; Wanaque, NJ, Police
Letter of Appreciation from 438th AEW/CC, Michael R. Boera, Brigadier General, USAF, Commander, 1 June 2010:
"On behalf of the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing in Afghanistan, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the people at Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon for their help in making the first-ever 438th Air Expeditionary Wing school drive a success! Your efforts allowed US service members to supply over 2,000 Afghan students with provisions necessary for academic success...
"Our wing has a unique mission in Afghanistan; we are charged with mentoring and advising the Afghan National Army Air Corps (ANAAC) in order to guide the Afghans in developing a competent and effective military air force. We are responsible for training over 3,000 ANAAC Airmen on all facets of Air Corps operations, from flying and maintaining helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, to developing English skills and providing medical care and transport.
"We have an awesome military mission, but we realize it takes more than developing a military force to aid in the progress of a nation. The future of a secure Afghanistan truly lies with educating younger generations. Thankfully, there are organizations and people like you who go above and beyond to help the US military and the Afghan children... Your donations promote education and show the children of Afghanistan a new and better way of life, one where terrorism does not have to be the dominant theme, and people are encouraged to give back to their community and make a better way of life for themselves and those around them. We are thankful you took the time out of your day and committed to the development of Afghanistan."
A small fraction of supplies arrive at Kabul Int'l Airport for the Afghan children, that will be distributed by our adoptee MSG Bubba B. and his team through the local elders.
Some of Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon care cartons unloaded from aircraft for Operation Falcon Cares in Iraq.
Wanaque, NJ, Police came to the warehouse with 28 cartons of school supplies, toys, sporting equipment and snacks for the kids supported by the 438th AEW. Way to go guys: (L to R) Tad, Matt and on far right Ken.
Also supporting the 438th AEW are the wonderful folks from Bryan Cave int'l law firm in NYC. They also brought a van load, with much for the Role 3 MMU hospital in Kandahar plus goodies for the Afghan children. Shown here are John, Anne, Ricky and Mo.
Over 60 cartons of clothing, school supplies, toys, stuffed animals and recreation equipment such as soccer balls and kites arrive at the 3/4 Marines for the children of Now Zad. The 3/4 Marines recaptured Now Zad during Operation Cobra's Anger and have restored a school for the local children. These supplies were donated by Bryan Cave int'l law firm's offices in NYC (Thanks Anne and team!) and the Wanaque, NJ, Police Dept. (thanks Capts. Ken and Tom and team!)
One of our adoptee units, TF 38 CAB, is very involved in the support of local children outside the wire in Iraq. Here you see the unit offloading food and clothing for Operation Falcon Cares at FOB Falcon. We are honored to support these fine initiatives of community outreach.