Monday, December 03, 2007

Soldiers Bring Joy to Afghan Students

Coalition Soldiers and Airmen hand out candy to children at a local school, outside Bagram Airfield here, to hand out supplies to the children on Dec. 1.
(U.S. Army photo by SSG Corey Dennis)
Coalition Soldiers and Airmen hand out candy to children at a local school, outside Bagram Airfield here, to hand out supplies to the children Dec. 1.
(U.S. Army photo by PFC Jordan Carter)

A Coalition commander hugs a village elder in a farewell after having chai tea and donating supplies and candy at a school outside of Bagram Airfield here, Dec. 1.
(U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Jordan Carter)

Local children leave school after Soldiers and Airmen came to their school, outside Bagram Airfield here, and handed out supplies to them on Dec. 1.
(U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Jordan Carter)

Afghan children shouted and waved to the Soldiers who visited the Jan Qadam School in Bagram, Afghanistan. The Soldiers handed out school supplies and candy as part of “Operation Sweet Tooth,” December 1.

Early in the morning, Soldiers loaded up several vehicles with boxes full of backpacks, pencils, pens, notepads and candies. Then they headed out to the Jan Qadam School to bring good will.

The Soldiers arrived on a day off for the students, but it didn't take long for the children to start coming in from all directions to greet them.

The children were excited to see the Soldiers and asked for pens by pretending they were writing on paper with their hands. Both the children and the Soldiers made a valiant attempt to communicate in each other’s language and a spirit of good will pervaded the crowd.

“They were open to take whatever we had to give them whether it was a pen, a smile, or better yet, some candy.” said one Soldier.

“One day the Afghan children may remember that a stranger gave them a small gift and they will remember that we are their friends.”

“The Soldiers’ influence on the locals was evident in the way they were greeted with smiles and handshakes.” said a Coalition forces company commander. "We want the Afghan people to be comfortable with us being here, we want them to know that we are here to support the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s efforts to bring peace and stability to the Afghan citizens.”

While outside the school, troops unloaded the vehicle and played with the children until it was time to leave. The children gathered around and waved as the Soldiers departed.

“I’m pleased that so many Soldiers have opened their hearts to our school and village,” said a villager elder. "On behalf of our students, and residents of this area, we are grateful for everything the Coalition forces are doing to improve our school and the village."

“Even though the school is operational, we are working on long-term school improvement projects, such as playgrounds, sporting facilities, new class rooms and a viable power source,” said the commander. “We want to show the Afghan citizens that the GIRoA and Coalition forces are committed to develop the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan infrastructure while bringing peace and stability.”

1 comment:

Nelson said...

It's a beautiful thing to help children. Thanks.