Friday, November 24, 2006

News of Afghanistan ٣٠ - the Thanksgiving Edition

In the spirit of our Thanksgiving Holdiay, I thought I would concentrate this edition on the things Afghanistan (and I) have to be thankful for.


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© IRIN

Polio Vaccination Targets Children In Afghanistan's South
Afghanistan has begun its latest drive to vaccinate millions of children under the age of 5 against the crippling polio virus, officials from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) have said, IRNA reported on November 21. The three-day campaign is the fifth this year and was launched on November 19 by the Public Health Ministry, with the support of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, and other partners. Afghanistan, one of just four countries in the world where polio is endemic, has seen the number of people suffering from the disease surge this year. There have been 29 confirmed polio cases in 2006, compared to just nine cases last year, according to the WHO in Kabul. "This is a massive campaign and involves 34,000 volunteers administering drops of polio vaccine to 7.2 million children across the country," UNAMA spokesman Adrian Edwards said in Kabul.

Suicide bombers often fail to hit target in Afghanistan

Hamid Karzai presented Indira Gandi Prize for Peace

photo: USAF file/SRA Bethann Hunt

Afghanistan’s only female minister takes on domestic violence

Afghan Woman’s Affairs Minister Hussn Banu Ghazanfar is trying to draft laws making violence against women illegal in Afghanistan, and to push the government to teach women and society about the rights women deserve. Picture: AP

Some Pashtuns are trying.

Abdul Jabbar Sabit, and those like him.

For the fight going better

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For my brothers-in-arms in Afghanistan

Photo by Spc. Ethan AndersonNovember 22, 2006 Soldiers from Company B, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division take cover after receiving fire from insurgents in Paktika Province, Afghanistan.

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For men like Officer Abbarker

Ghazni, Afghanistan Uniformed personnel from other countries also give others something to be thankful about. In a display of selfless heroism, Afghan National Police Officer Abbarker died protecting the lives of the Andar District governor, his fellow police officers and coalition soldiers. While guarding the Miri District Center in the District of Ghazni, Abbarker noticed that a man had bypassed the security checkpoint and was attempting to run into the center. Abbarker immediately suspected foul play and gave chase to stop the intruder. He tackled the man, forcing him away from the others. As he wrestled to restrain the man, the intruder detonated a vest packed with explosives, killing himself and the brave Abbarker. Abbarker's actions cost him his life, but in so doing, he saved the lives of others. Abdul Rhaim, the Andar District governor, said Abbarker was a brave soldier and that he was deeply grateful for his unselfish sacrifice. "The honor and bravery of this man amazes me," said Lt. Col. Steven Gilbert, commander of Task Force Iron Grays. "His actions have saved the lives of many fellow Afghans and coalition forces from the cowardly actions of a suicide bomber. His great sacrifice will not be in vain."

I am thankful for the experience of serving in Afghanistan. Why would I be thankful for spending 14 months away from family, friends and home? Since I have returned, I have so much more enjoyed and appreciated the magnificence of freedom, the generous spirit of so many, the selflessness I encountered in so many.

I am thankful for seeing (and benefitting from!) the example setting, leadership and I don't know how else to describe it but "wisdom", of CSM Bones. I am thankful that the Inner Prop could be handed an almost impossible job, in an awful situation, and show what determination, ethical behavior, selfless service and commitment can accomplish. I am also thankful they share some of that with us on this blog.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm thankful for highly intelligent, capable people who voluntarily leave loved ones behind to risk their lives in foreign, often squalid surroundings in furtherance of our American ideals.

I'm thankful that, like you three, so many of our servicemen and women make it safely home.

God bless each and every one.

3:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband was home for Thanksgiving this year, but, won't be next year.
He is 51 years old and will be going to Afghanistan next year. I recently had a stroke, so
I know he will have a lot on his mind over there. I think that he is already a hero to support our military. I
hope that he returns safely and does not have
to make the ultimate sacrifice as have too many others. God bless all the servicemen from all the countries serving over there.

10:49 AM  
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2:58 AM  

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