Faces From the Front for July 27, 2009 - Sgt. 1st Class Corey Garner
Current Unit: 143rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command (ESC)
Current Position: Humanitarian Assistance NCO
Component: Army Reserve
Current Location: Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan
Hometown: Aliceville, Ala.
Years of Service: 20
Currently deployed with the 143rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command (ESC), Sgt. 1st Class Corey Garner is part of a significant humanitarian aid project underway in Afghanistan. As the Humanitarian Assistance Noncommissioned Officer (NCO), Garner is currently working with local officials to establish a humanitarian assistance yard near Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. The yard, which will be the second of its kind in Afghanistan, will serve as a storage and distribution center for humanitarian aid supplies. Afghan families whose homes have been damaged or destroyed will have access to food, clothing, household materials, and medical and school supplies through the yard to help rebuild their homes and remain in their communities.
The intent of the effort is to strengthen local communities by providing families with an alternative to evacuation. Ultimately, the goal of the humanitarian assistance yards is to promote stability, independence and economic growth within Afghan communities by preserving and rebuilding the existing infrastructure and relationships. Garner and his Soldiers are charged with surveying, blueprinting and designing the yard and for stocking it with supplies.
"Not only does this mission provide assistance for Afghan nationals, it opens up a whole new relationship between the U.S. and Afghanistan," said Garner. "Several government, military and civilian agencies had to come to terms on many issues. New guidance and policies had to be agreed upon, cultural differences accepted, and laws and customs respected. In an environment like this, that's not an easy task."
The 143rd ESC deployed to Afghanistan in February 2009, marking the first time an expeditionary sustainment command has deployed to Afghanistan. Garner believes that the establishment of the humanitarian yards is an important step for progress in Afghanistan.
"It shows our presence here is not just one of war and conflict, but also care and concern for the Afghan nation," Garner explains.
Garner, an Aliceville, Ala. native is slated to return home in early 2010 to his four children Brandon, Arrianna, Kaelyn, and LaKyra.