By 1st Lt. David GutierrezMay 13, 2010
ALMAR, Afghanistan - Every U.S. Soldier assigned to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan wears a patch on their left shoulder that says in Dari, "Komak wa hamkari," which means "to help the nation."
Soldiers of B Battery, 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, proved to residents of Almar that this saying goes beyond mentoring security forces or combating the insurgency; it extends to helping local people when they find themselves in need.
While returning to Forward Operating Base Meymaneh after a visit to the Almar District Police Headquarters on April 22, 3-6 FA cannoneers discovered a disabled truck delivering merchandise to a local bazaar. The vehicle was stuck in a wadi that had flooded because of recent heavy rains. The riverbed was being used as a bypass for ongoing bridge construction along Ring Road, the major highway route through the area.
First Lt. Kurt Able, leader of 3rd Platoon, stopped to see if he and his Soldiers could provide any assistance. Able, along with Sgt. 1st Class Steven Wilson, platoon sergeant for 1st Platoon, assisted with a humvee, while Sgt. Nicholas Tokos, the vehicle's driver, attached a tow strap to the delivery truck.
"Hopefully what we did today shows (local residents) that we are here to help them," said Pfc. Travis Guidry, vehicle gunner, who provided security for the dismounts.
The owner of the vehicle, Amin Alla Nazir, was pleased to see that U.S. forces took time out of their mission to help him. Nazir had been under the impression that the U.S. military was too busy with combat operations to be concerned with his problem.
"Thank you for all your help, Soldiers," Nazir said.
After helping Nazir, B Soldiers once again came upon civilians in need.
A man and a woman were riding a motorcycle, and as the convoy passed, the motorcycle operator lost control and the bike toppled over.
Able turned the patrol around to render assistance, while a platoon medic, Pfc. Philip Spence, assessed the couple's injuries. Spence evaluated and treated the young Afghans, finding that they had no fractured bones or serious injuries, only some scrapes, which were bandaged.
"After months of training and exercises it was good to get out and do it for real," Spence said. "I enjoyed helping them out."