News: Soldiers foster good relationships with Afghans through humanitarian aid
Story by Spc. Melissa Stewart
LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan— Afghan national police and the "Street Kings" from 710th Brigade Support Battalion, thanked the villages of Bidak, Chawney and Nawe Kale for their support and friendship by helping them prepare for the upcoming winter months, Oct 19.
Winter clothing, blankets and pots and pans were some of the many gifts brought to the village mosques. Soldiers visited three of the larger areas to distribute the winter items so that people of the many smaller villages can receive winter items as well.
"Bidak, Chawney, Nawe Kale are major population centers," said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Alicia Morrison, a platoon leader with Company A. "We dropped things off at the bigger areas so it can influence the smaller areas as well."
According to U.S. Army Cpl. Edwin Morel, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 710th BSB, it was a way of thanking the villagers for their support of International Security Assistance Forces.
"It was a way to give back for what they have given us," said Morel. "For the support of the village elders, they welcome us into their villages."
Trust and friendship play a vital role in ISAF operations in Afghanistan. Without good working relationships, collecting information on enemy activity and working to increase security would be difficult.
During the last year, Soldiers have developed relationships of trust and friendship with villagers through humanitarian aid missions. These missions did not go unnoticed.
"They were grateful," said Morel, about the winter necessities he helped distribute. "We offered a lot of stuff to the locals."
During the past year, Soldiers built a well in the village of Bidak. When in Bidak, one of the village elders took the time to thank them for the well that they built in his village.
According to Morrison, he told them how much it improved his people's lives, having fresh water readily available.
In Chawney, they provided necessary supplies to fix the mosque. By improving the Afghan people's quality of life, Soldiers prove that they are not just here for combat operations, but also to help them.
"They know we're helping them, so they are welcoming," said Morrison. "Their mentality is 'they helped us, so we can help them.'"