May I have your permission to put this email w/pictures on my blog as an update from you? I know you are doing an OUTSTANDING job over there and I am very proud of you and proud to counted as one of your friends. The last thing on all my posts are for everyone, and that includes the worldwide readers of my blog, are for everyone to pray for you & Pattie (Jim Jackson's wife who is in Korea). You remain in our prayers and we await your safe return to us..I am there with you in spirit my friend..
You don't have to ask, sure you can. I appreciate your friendship and your truly patriotic service you do for the fallen Soldiers.
Friends and Comrades in Arms
Subject: Humanitarian Aid mission Afghanistan
It is hard to believe that I have been in the Country of Afghanistan for over a two months now. This is a great mission that I am blessed to be a part of. The building of this Nation's Army is an enormous task with many challenges that at times are frustrating, but most of the time our hard work is rewarding. We spend countless hours mentoring our Afghan counterparts on Army tasks we as US Soldiers take for granted, but had never been tried by this young Army. We have to remind ourselves that this Afghan Army is only 6 years old, and the introduction of institutionalized training is a new concept to them. One of our greatest accomplishment is transitioning this Afghan Army from Warsaw Pact weapons to the NATO weapon systems, which is not an easy feat. Most, if not all these Afghan privates have grown up with or fought with the AK 47, so the M16 is a change for them and a change from their Russian influence. The easy part of this mission is the friendliness of the Afghan people toward us Americans and our coalition partners who are also training Afghan Soldiers at the Kabul Military Training Center.
Besides the training of the Afghan Army and the Combat patrols, we find time to help the people of this poor Country. I had the opportunity to experience first hand and help with a Humanitarian Aid mission to a small Afghan Village; called Koochie Village. This mission is done with US support, however we let the Afghan Army take the lead in handing out items to the villagers. An important aspect of this mission is to win the minds and hearts of the Afghan people and to ensure they have confidence in their own Army. We spent several hours in the hot sun in full body armor assisting in this mission. We gave the families of the villagers; clothes, shoes, food and more importantly toys for the kids. The best part of the mission was giving soccer balls to the many kids who were very grateful and had big smiles on their faces. These kids spend their days working very hard herding goats in the hot sun, so it was good to see them have a little fun.
This has so far been a great mission and I really believe that the United States and our Coalition partners are here for a real purpose that will make a difference in the lives of the Afghan people and continue to bring security to our Nation form radical extremist.
Keep us in your prayers
This will conclude this post. Thank you Manuel for your service to our Great country and for doing your part in keeping us, the citizens, free. Thank you for the work you are doing in Afghanistan to help secure their freedom and as you know, if I had been able to get a Presidential waiver to return to active duty, I would be there now with you along with many other Veterans. Stay safe and keep that head on a 360 degree swivel. You remain in our prayers until you return home to us, safe & sound.
Scroll down for more rides, events & posts and don't forget to click on the "older posts" link at the bottom of EACH page for more rides and posts. Check out North Texas Bikers (1) at http://www.jjskewlstuff.blogspot.com/ for rides, events & posts from January 08-November 08. and North Texas Bikers II at: http://www.jjskewlstuffii.blogspot.com/ for rides, events & posts from Nov. 08-July 09. Until next post, ya'll be careful out there, ride safe, keep the rubber on the road & pray for our Troops & Pattie & Manuel................JOHN