News: Marines build relationships with Afghans in Marjah
Story by Lance Cpl. Mark Garcia
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan- Afghans and Marines from 3rd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment came together for a shura in Marjah, Feb. 12.
The shura was designed to strengthen the bonds between the Afghans and Marines. During the shura, Lt. Col. David Hudspeth, 3rd Bn., 9th Marines commanding officer, discussed issues with Haji Boscole, one of the strongest pro-coalition elders in the district.
“Anytime you can share a meal, or just share anything in general with someone, it helps build a stronger relationship with that person,” said Hudspeth.
Hudspeth said he tries to go to as many shuras as he can so that he can find out how the local nationals are doing and what is needed in the villages.
“Our mission is all about the people,” said Hudspeth. “We’re truly trying to protect these people and make their lives better.”
The battalion commander said another benefit of creating a stronger bond between Afghans and Marines is that the locals can give coalition forces refined information on what is going on in their villages.
“I definitely think the more we eat with Afghans, the more we associate with Afghans, it will certainly help build a stronger relationship,” said Hudspeth. “I think (the Afghans) are definitely going to have a better life in the future.”