Spirit of America's Blog
SOF and SOA - Problem Solving and Meeting Needs
In one of the outlying district where Special Operations Forces (SOF) and Afghan Local Police (ALP) work closely, the police expressed concern to the soldiers that because they work in such remote regions, coalition aircraft may not recognize them when they were conducting patrols by themselves. The team reached out to me and explained their desire to support the ALP by providing them with a way to be easily identified from the air. Here is how we were able to solve the problem they were facing.
The uniform deficiencies were being worked on but as most things do, it was going to take time to get resolved. Every day that passed put the police at risk of being mistaken as insurgents. As we explored options to meet their needs, the idea of providing the ALP with individualized hats came up.
Training for Veterinary Professionals and Rural Herdsmen
Paktika Province is located in southeastern Afghanistan along the Pakistan border. The economy is agriculture-based with over 80% of the population directly involved in farming, taking care of herds, managing land, and related activities. Long considered a backwater province, the Afghan government and its coalition forces partners are actively working to build capacity within the province. Spirit of America was able to fund a two-day training event for Afghan attendees to help achieve that goal.
Afghan men preform an examination during a veterinarian training seminar hosted by the Afghan Directorate of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock and US forces
SoA Supports Economic Development in Guyana
Recently Spirit of America took a trip down to Guyana to meet up with the US Embassy's Humanitarian Assistance Project team. This team provides humanitarian assistance in support of at risk communities in the country. They had identified a need in a remote village of western Guyana. One of the challenges facing this area is that, with very little government or police presence, it is easy for illegal activities to gain traction. Knowing that criminal networks typically prey on the poor, the HAP team began identifying different means to give people in the community a better option than turning to illegal methods of making money.
Progress being made on the future site of the new repair facility
Remembering Memorial Day
America - the land of the free and the home of the brave – has come at a great cost over many generations. From Lexington to Belleau Wood, Normandy to Wanat, some of our best and brightest have given their all.
This Memorial Day weekend, all of us at Spirit of America would like to remember, and express our deep gratitude for, all those who have died in service to our nation and the ideals we hold so dear. The freedom that we, and many others in the world, enjoy today was made possible by their sacrifice.
Local Food in Afghanistan
Local food in Afghanistan is much different than what you find in the states. I have eaten a lot of local food like goat stew with rice, beans and bread. I like trying new things so when I was told that through the 'hole in the wall' the best chicken sandwiches in Afghanistan could be found; I had to check it out.
SoA in Tampa, Houston, Santa Monica and West Point
A few opportunities to meet members of our team and hear talks by SoA founder Jim Hake.
May 19, Monday, 7 – 10pm, Tampa: Global SOF Foundation launch
Meet up with us at the launch of the Global Special Operations Forces Foundation in Tampa. Friends of Spirit of America are invited to attend. More info and RSVP here: http://www.globalsoffoundation.org/events.html
May 21, Wednesday, 11:30 – 1pm, Houston: West Point Society
In a lunchtime talk to the West Point Society of Houston, Jim will discuss the role the American people can play as partners in US missions abroad. This is not open to the public but if you are a member of the Society, we hope to see you there.
Democracy and Education in Action
In Afghanistan, our troops are still working hard to finish their job and provide a better future for that country, knowing that stability is good for both Afghans and Americans. Our field rep, Chris Clary, a US Army veteran, recently shared a few examples of how Spirit of America supported this great work.
An Afghan woman shows off ink that shows she voted (courtesy of BBC)
Special Operations Soldiers and SoA Team up to Support Education
History has a way of repeating itself especially if we don't learn the lessons offered to us the first go around. Following the defeat of the Russians in Afghanistan in 1989, Congressman Charlie Wilson asked for money to build up things such as the education system in Afghanistan. In the end his request was denied. Little more than 10 years later America was thrust into its longest war in history. Here is one story about an Army Special Forces team that recognized the importance of supporting the children in their area and did something to make a difference.
Children proudly display their new backpacks
An Army Special Forces team operating near a major base in Afghanistan identified a school that had limited supplies for the students. Even without necessary supplies, the classes commenced because the parents and teachers recognized how important formal education was to their children's future.