Alaska Strykers bring hope to Afghan villagers
June 30, 2011
FORWARD OPERATING BASE LAGMAN, Afghanistan, July 5, 2011 -- Eastern Kandahar’s Daman district is just one area suffering from the kind of ravages that can befall a country that has known almost constant war for decades.
Like many districts throughout Afghanistan, local villagers focus much of their time tending to their farms, which often suffer from drought. For the people of Daman district, a lack of schools and hospitals compound the difficulties they face every day.
During a recent mission Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, came to the aid of the suffering district.
Partnering with the local Afghan National Security Forces, Soldiers from "Task Force Automatic" helped deliver much needed school supplies, including such basics as pens, paper, books and book bags.
“It feels great to make a noticeable difference in the lives of the Afghan people,” Capt. Angela Chipman of the 2-8th said. “We aren’t just donating and delivering school supplies to the children -- we are giving the children of the Daman district an opportunity to attend school and learn.”
“It’s about building a lasting relationship between the U.S. forces and the people of Afghanistan and providing them with long-term solutions to their problems,” she said.
The relationship between the 2-8th, the Afghan people, and the Afghan security forces has shown significant gains in recent weeks, according to Chipman.
With support from their local Afghan counterparts, the unit was able to confiscate more than 30 bags of substance known to be key component in homemade explosives used in improvised explosive devices.
First Lt. Theodore Leakas praised the efforts of the Afghan Border Police, stating that they have made significant progress in closing down the trafficking of dangerous substances throughout their area.
Sgt. Nathan Kaiser beamed with pride when the bags of potassium nitrate fertilizer were loaded into secure holding containers.
“Our guys have done great things to get this stuff off the streets and, in my opinion, I believe we’ve saved a lot of lives.”