Afghani Project

These are children in Afghanistan who are given clothing and toys by U.S. soldiers stationed there and running medical camps to provide supplies for the local communities. (CPT Sean is the soldier pictured.) The specific toys and clothing on the children in this picture were donated by my cousins Sid and Heidi. They were so excited to see the children wearing and playing with the items they picked out that they shared the story with me.

I was hooked after that, so Sid got me a contact over there, a First Lieutenant named Chris. He has been very patient with all my questions about the process and very thankful for our willingness to donate. In his first email to me he made that clear: Thank you so much for your interest in what we’re doing over here. With all the media focus on Iraq, we sometimes think people lose sight of what’s going on in Afghanistan. I’m glad that’s not the case!

So, myself and a number of other moms you see frequently on this blog, collected some clothing and toys, got together for a playdate to gather it all together and shipped it right off!

The boxes arrived yesterday and I begged 1Lt. Chris for a picture of his platoon. He was kind enough to oblige. **In the interest of safety to our soldiers, I’m only going to provide you with rank (because they’ve worked hard to acheive it) and first or last names, but not both. Chris assured me that the info he emails to me could not put them in harms way if used on my blog, but just to be sure I’d rather not provide full names.

(Left to right) Back Row: CPT Harrington (our doctor), SGT Garrison, SPC Scott, SSG Forsythe, SGT Santamaria (a CPL in the picture…he’s since been promoted), and 1LT Chris.Middle Row: SGT Buxton and SSG Rodriguez (the Soldier whose promotion is being celebrated in the picture). Front and center: SSG Colon (Platoon Sergeant).

Chris and his Platoon Sergeant are wearing Stetsons because it is tradition to do so at promotions, awards ceremonies, and formal events in Cavalry units, especially for leaders. “Back in garrison, we wear Stetsons and Spurs every Thursday as a little comraderie/morale booster,” he says.

Last week, I received an email from Chris with exciting news: “[We are] preparing to GO HOME!” Captian Sean is already back home and I’m happy that Lt. Chris is able to follow.


6 Responses to “Afghani Project”

  1. derfteach Says:

    Hi ~ I’m 1LT Chris’s mom – thanks very much for sending the toys, clothes, etc. to the Afghani children. I know that since Christopher has been in Afghanistan he has frequently spoken about how the people there give a new meaning to the word “poor”. He has been there since April ’07 – and should be going back to Germany sometime toward the end of the summer (a total of 15 months). If you’re looking to send the kids anything else, school supplies are always welcome. Pens, pencils, crayons, paper, markers, etc. are in very short supply ~ even the girls in Afghanistan are now allowed to go to school – though both girls and boys only go to the sixth grade. Maybe Chris has already told you all of this, but after reading your blog, I just had to write! Thanks again for thinking of our troops in Afghanistan – and pray for peace – EVERYWHERE! Julie

  2. JoyLuck Says:

    Hi Julie! Thank you for posting the comment. We will be sure to provide school supplies in our future shipments. One of the mom’s is a kindergarten teacher and she was wondering if those might be needed. I know you are happy that Chris will be home soon. We wish him a safe journey and have really enjoyed the opportunity to get to know him and what he does there in Afghanistan. Joy :)

  3. armychik1019 Says:

    Hi! This is Chris’s wife, Ashley. I tried posting before but apparently it didn’t work (I’m so bad with this stuff!). I wanted to thank you for sending clothing, toys, etc. to Chris’s unit. I really think the best way to succeed in Afghanistan is for the kids to grow up knowing our guys as their friends. Thanks again!

  4. JoyLuck Says:

    Thank you for the sweet note, Ashley. It is neat to know that we can have a little impact on the world, especially when you stay at home with your children. You world can sometimes feel much more limited than it was “BC” (before children) :) It is also a great way to teach my daughter about giving, especially when she has so much.

  5. derfteach Says:

    Hi – Chris’s mom again – thought I’d let you know that Chris is back in Germany! His wife, Ashley, arrived there on July 18th and Christopher got there on the 25th. Also – he’s Captain Chris now! Thanks again for your support! Julie

  6. JoyLuck Says:

    That’s wonderful news! I’m glad they are both back safe and sound. I need to email him for a new contact. I’ve already got a number of toys and books saved up to send off to the kids again. :)

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