LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan (June 11, 2012) -- A U.S. Army Soldier recently helped his battalion's partnership program by handing out care packages to Afghan National Army soldiers at Camp Miawon.
"It was my idea to give to the ANA soldiers, but I cannot take full credit, since there were a lot of people behind the effort," said Pfc. Curtis K. Blount, a chaplain's assistant with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 7th Engineer Battalion. "Organizations such as Adopt a Platoon and ForTheTroops.org were the main contributors to the cause."
"These two organizations have been more than generous to our battalion and task force, which allowed us to have more than enough items to give to the ANA soldiers," said Chaplain (Capt.) James T. Highhouse, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 7th Engineer Battalion.
Blount took the idea to the battalion partnership noncommissioned officer, who encouraged him, saying it would be a very nice gesture and would help with continued partnering between ANA and the International Security Assistance Force.
The ANA soldiers were out on mission when the packages were delivered, so the packages were stored overnight.
"There was a formation formed when we arrived (at) the compound where the packages were to be issued," said Sgt. 1st Class Jesus Jimenez, route clearance partnership NCO, Forward Support Company, 7th Engineer Battalion. "I believe the ANA soldiers were surprised by the generosity the U.S Soldiers have given them, since they were all smiles like kids at Christmas morning."
The ANA soldiers were not only surprised; they were thankful as well.
"My soldiers are very grateful for the packages that we received from our good U.S. partners," said Afghan National Army Lt. Col. Malikidin, ANA brigade engineer.
In addition to the care package, each ANA soldier also was given a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, pillow and blanket. After everything was issued, they posed together for a photograph.
"I hope to definitely do something like this again in the near future," Blount said. "It is so rewarding to see the ANA so appreciative, and I think this type of act will go a long way towards winning their hearts and minds."