Letter from Jesse Koehler, FOB Hades, 82nd Airborne
As you may know, one of our missions in Afghanistan is to win the hearts and minds of the people. The United States being in the Middle East gives us the chance to show the Islamic community what Americans are all about. It opens their eyes to see the compassion that we have as a society, not just for our own people but, for ALL people regardless of religious, political, or cultural views.
They see something more than what MTV or soap operas show them. We are asking for your assistance to help accomplish this mission.
If you would like to make a huge difference with something so small, here’s how. Our local elementary school needs 1st grade level reading material. Anything you can come up with would be greatly appreciated. Remember, the Afghani people are amazed by the simple things that we take for granted. So, sky’s the limit.
Our district sponsors a local soccer adult soccer team. These guys are extremely talented. It’s only a matter of time before they are in the World Cup. However, they could use some equipment to help make them elite amongst the districts in the province. Some of these guys have so much love for the game and play without shoes because they are so poor. Even used uniforms would be welcomed with great admiration.
Again, anything you can think of would be more than what they have now. We just had an new orphanage open up. Many children become homeless either to illnesses, unsafe living conditions, or the Taliban killing their parents for taking pro-government jobs. The very people who risk their lives to help make Afghanistan a better place are targeted for not allowing the Taliban to suppress them or their children.
Before International intervention, these orphans would go homeless. They would either be recruited by the Taliban or starve to death. Now, we can offer a community for these young boys. However, we need to get them clothed this winter. As I mentioned in the newsletter, Afghanistan can get down to 30 below in some places.
Obviously, most of Afghanistan does not have central heating. At best, families can hover around an old small pot belly stove. That is if they can afford any type of wood. Unfortunately, wood is considered a luxury. I understand that the cost for shipping such items can be unforgiving. If I could recommend a group participation. That way, no one person will have to take the blunt of the cost. I really do appreciate anything you all can do.
GOD bless you all.
Jesse Koehler , HHC 508th STB 82nd FOB
SHANK (PAL) APO AE 09354
HHC 508th STB 82nd
FOB SHANK (PAL)
APO AE 09354