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    Afghan Commandos give back to their community in Kandahar



    Courtesy Story

    U.S. Forces Afghanistan

    KABUL, Afghanistan — As the scorching Afghan sun washed the schoolyard in warm light, Afghan commandos of the 205th Corps and their coalition partners arrived with gifts and messages of hope and security. They handed out school supplies and toys to children at a school near Kandahar Airfield, Kandahar province, June 18.

    The commandos led the coordination and distribution efforts while their coalition partners assisted by providing some of the school supplies and toys for more than 100 boys and girls.

    The school principal, Mohammed Esa, warmly greeted the commandos and introduced them to the staff.

    "The commandos made all the students and teachers very happy today," said Esa. "We are very glad [they] came to help the children."

    Esa explained that the schoolchildren come from impoverished families and cannot always afford to purchase school supplies. Some of the supplies handed out to each of the children included bookbags, pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, coloring books and crayons.

    Though the distribution of school supplies isn't at the forefront of the commandos' responsibilities, 1st Lt. Mohammed Shifa, the executive officer for 1st Commando Company, 3rd Kandak, said he enjoyed giving back to the community, which has been very supportive of their efforts.

    "Our primary responsibilities are to look after the safety and security of the Afghan people," said Shifa. "Today, we are distributing these items and helping the children as representatives of the Afghan government. I'm quite happy we could do something for the children."

    After a brief meeting with the principal, the commandos walked to each classroom to speak briefly with the teachers and children. Afterward, they handed out supplies to each of the kids in the school.

    Shifa and the other commandos spoke to the children about the importance of a good education. He said the children should know about their nation's history and what their families have gone through. This is important so that they can help build a new, stronger Afghanistan.

    "The people of Afghanistan were brainwashed after 20 to 30 years of constant war," said Shifa. "We want to give them hope."

    Shifa said there were some very important messages given to the children for their education and their safety.

    "We told the children the main enemies are the Taliban and opium," he said. "We said to inform us, the Afghan national police or a government representative, if you see anybody doing the wrong thing."

    The commandos returned to their vehicles where they and their coalition partners began handing out soccer balls and volleyballs to the children. Esa said it was good to see the children playing impromptu games with some of the commandos and coalition forces. Makeshift soccer goals were set up where a brief game was played while others bumped volleyballs back and forth.

    "We are very grateful for the gifts and supplies," Esa said. "The commandos and coalition forces have been very good for the children at the school. These are all our children and we thank [them] for the help they are providing."



    Date Taken: 06.22.2009
    Date Posted: 06.22.2009 09:13
    Story ID: 35463
    Location: KABUL, AF 

    Web Views: 303
    Downloads: 287