Service in Afghanistan
In 2007 I had the privilege of living and working in Afghanistan for the better part of the year. After working over two decades as a police officer I became interested in challenging myself by working overseas as a police advisor with the Afghan National Police Force. My experiences there gave me a whole new perspective on the world and made me appreciate even more what we have in this country.
I’ve included some pictures from my time there to give you a little better feeling of what I saw, felt and experienced.
We had many opportunities to interact with local kids. While I enjoyed the chance it was a constant reminder that three quarters of these kids can’t read and write. Many will never go to school. Afghanistan’s status as one of the poorest countries in the world is directly linked to the lack of emphasis on education. We ignore this lesson at our own peril.
I worked regularly with our military team members while in country. We would not have been able to get to many of our mission locations without their help and sacrifice. I will be forever grateful.
My job was to teach democratic policing skills to Afghan Police Officers. The average recruit was 25 years old, had no education and was hoping to receive a hundred dollars a month for the chance to face down insurgents that had machine guns and RPGs. What’s your job?
The young son of one of one of our Afghan Instructors broke his arm, playing outside our base. I had a chance to give him a get well gift and it was such a big deal to his dad and his students they insisted on a picture. We developed many positive relationships with the instructors and our students.
These are the remnants of an improvised explosive device that was detonated just a few miles from our training center in Jalalabad. The bomb was a van full of explosives detonated by a suicide bomber when he drove into a Marine convoy bringing some of our police trainers back from a training mission.