News: Why I serve: Lt. Mohammad Nabi
Story by Staff Sgt. Kristen Duus
CAMP NATHAN SMITH, Afghanistan - He is just like any other 25-year-old man. He likes action films, Michael Jackson and the color green. He drives a Toyota Corolla and listens to rock music. One of his dreams is to visit California someday. He serves his country.
Lt. Mohammad Nabi is an Afghan, working to provide security at Camp Nathan Smith in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. Nabi, who has only served his country for two years, has quickly worked his way up the ranks.
When Nabi enlisted two years ago, he worked as a guard for Alpha Team Company.His supervisors quickly recognized his work ethic and promoted him to sergeant within two months.Shortly after, he was promoted to his current rank and named the assistant shift supervisor for a company called Olive Group, which replaced Alpha Team Company.
“I’m proud of him and I support him,” said his shift commander, Capt. Abdul Hadi. “When I’m not on the base, Nabi does his job and my job.”
Part of Nabi’s job, aside from the obligatory paperwork, is overseeing 55 guards who protect American soldiers.
“I work with Americans a lot,” said Nabi. “Everybody likes the U.S. military here.”
He is proud to protect American soldiers because their military is enhancing the country and bringing peace to Afghanistan, said Nabi.
Nabi, a native of Spin Boldak district in Kandahar province, worked as a shopkeeper selling truck parts before working with the Olive Group. He returns there in his time off to visit friends and family.
Serving Afghanistan is not a new concept for Nabi’s family. His older brother, who also serves, helped Nabi get selected for his job at CNS.
Nabi learned a little English as a child in school. When he left school to work as a shopkeeper, he forgot most of it, he said. However, working with American soldiers on guard shift, sometimes for eight hours at a time, his inquisitive nature took over and he once again learned to speak English. Nabi credits the soldiers with teaching him and he became proficient again in a mere three months.
Nabi hopes to continue working with Americans despite the closure of forward operating bases and combat outposts around Afghanistan.
However, for the present Nabi focuses his time and effort on taking care of his guards.
“I’m proud of my soldiers because they’re doing a good job,” said Nabi. “They’re working very hard, everyone has a responsibility.”
Working alongside Americans has taught Nabi that, despite a cultural variance, the reasons Afghan serve their country is not so different from why Americans serve theirs, he said. Both serve to protect their families, countries and ideals.