Monday, September 20, 2010

To protect and serve

On a recent trip to Kandahar province, we had the opportunity to attend an Afghan National Police graduation. During the nine months I’ve been here, I’ve attended numerous graduations – Afghan Army, NCOs, academy graduates, basic trainees – but what made this one so interesting was the fact that 1) it was being held during Ramadan and 2) it was in Kandahar.

On this hot afternoon in Southern Afghanistan, 164 ANP graduates were crowded into a room, eager to receive their diplomas. These 164 men had joined the police, knowing that they would be staying in Kandahar province, to protect their homes and families. The police are a local force, they live and work in their home communities, while the army and Afghan National Civil Order Police deploy to where they are needed. Often it is hard to recruit people who fear being sent to Kandahar or Helmand provinces; some even go AWOL when assigned a duty there. But these men signed up knowing that would be where they would stay.

It may be a small thing, to have a class of 164 graduating, but it’s a start. After all, it only takes one person to ignite a change. I hope they serve as an example for others in their villages; that they take courage and strength from these leaders, and stand up against those who would only hurt them.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Ma'am,

    I would like to contact you regarding a project that my partner and I (Army War Veterans) are working on that I believe you would be interested in contributing to. Our website is where you can review more details about us, who we are workign with, the concept, etc. I can only imagine your busy schedule, however, this is a unique project. Just a moment of your time. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Jaeson "Doc" Parsons