How one man makes a difference in Afghanistan

PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Ghouse Loynab, human terrain analyst with Human Terrain Team, TF Red Bulls, takes notes as he talks to a villager about governance and development issues Feb. (click for more)

Guardians of Peace produces results in Paktya

PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Clint Koerperich of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, squad leader for 2nd Platoon, Company C., 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry Regiment, patrols with ANA soldiers (click for more)

Working together to put Afghan heroes back together again

PAKTYA, Afghanistan – Gheiratullah, an Afghan medical soldier, practices self aid and buddy care at the Paktya Regional Medical Center Feb. 13. (click for more)

Bidder’s conference places Afghans in control

PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Spc. Crystal Sims (right), from Duncan, Okla., a project manager for the 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team, assists an Afghan with registering at the bidder’s (click for more)

Panjshir women strengthen communication skills

PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ashlee Lolkus, TF Red Bulls, shows Rohubza Dousti, a trainer and supervisor at the United Nations Habitat and a Panjshir youth group (click for more)

Ghazni PRT assesses village, builds relationships

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Ghazni PRT members walk among the locals engaging in conversation during a village assessment in Touheed Abad in Ghazni Province Feb. 6. (click for more)

Iowa ADT inks deal for orchard training farm

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Haji Hazrat Ali Gull, a fruit producer, explains improvements he already made to a proposed orchard training farm site he owns to U.S. Army Master Sgt. (click for more)

Co. A makes successful return to Shebatkyl

LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - A team of Kiowa helicopters provide overhead security for U.S. Army Soldiers from Company A, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, and Afghan National Army Soldiers from (click for more)

Delegation conducts market outreach mission in Zormat

PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Mohammad Masood, Paktya Agricultural Department advisor, and U.S. Army Col. Robert Roshell, 2-45 Agribusiness Development Team commander from Lawton, Okla., examine spices during a mission to (click for more)

Kunar PRT medics help healing at Asadabad Hospital

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Lynn Redman of San Antonio, Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team nurse practitioner, examines a female Afghan patient with Afghan Dr. Ismat Shinwary, Asadabad (click for more)


PAKTYA, Afghanistan – U.S Army Chaplain (Capt.) Karen A. Hallett of Vernon, N.J., performs a marriage commitment ceremony for Tony Humphreys of Pittsburgh, and Lisette Bonano of Tampa, Fla., at Forward Operating Base Lightning Feb. 7. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Maritza Freeland, 17th Public Affairs Detachment)PAKTYA, Afghanistan – They did not play, ‘Love is a battlefield,’ at their wedding, but it would have been appropriate.

U.S. Army civilians, Tony Humphreys of Pittsburgh, and Lisette Bonano of Tampa, Fla., participated in a marriage commitment ceremony at Forward Operating Base Lightning Feb. 7.

The commitment ceremony was held in lieu of a wedding because coalition chaplains cannot perform weddings in Afghanistan.

Bonano is the senior adviser for the Afghan National Army’s 203rd Thunder Corps inspector general’s office. Humphreys works as a contractor with World Language Resources where he advises the 203rd Corps’ education office.

The two met in Afghanistan after they retired. Humphreys is a retired U.S. Army command sergeant major. Bonano is a retired lieutenant colonel who worked with a provincial reconstruction team in Iraq before retiring last year.

Bonano smiles as she remembers her first encounters with Humphreys.

“He was always trying to waive at me and get my attention, but I just ignored him and walked away,” said Bonano. “I avoided him like the plague.”

Humphreys had been working at FOB Lightning for about two years when he first encountered his future wife.

“A van pulled up and I saw this lady,” said Humphreys. “I felt something, but I still had to maintain my professionalism.”

Humphreys insists he and Bonano have been entirely professional despite their obvious affection for each other.

It wasn’t until Bonano left Afghanistan that things began to happen between the couple.

Humphreys had a friend ask Bonano to come to his office to receive a coin; supposedly, the coin was a reward Bonano for her good work at the FOB.

“He just wanted an excuse to touch my hand,” said Bonano. “I have brothers; I knew what was going on.”

Humphreys and Bonano began to correspond by e-mail. They found that they had a great deal in common. They both have adult children, they are both of Italian descent, and they are both deeply committed Christians.

After a short stay in the states, Bonano decided to return to Afghanistan. She believes it was more than just a career decision. She felt compelled to return.

“We were drawn together by a shared faith in a difficult place,” said Bonano. “I know (Humphreys) was sent to me by God.”

U.S. Army Chaplain (Capt.) Karen Hallet of Vernon, N.J., presided over the commitment ceremony. She, like Bonano, recognized the hand of a higher power in the couple’s union.

“God is the author of love ... God can lead us to our life companion,” said Hallet. “God found this couple in a little FOB in Afghanistan.”

Humphreys becomes wistful when he thinks of the odd circumstances that brought him and Bonano together.

“It took me 25 years to find her, but I found her here in Afghanistan,” said Humphreys. “I am a blessed man.”

Conditions at FOB Lightning are tough, but for at least one couple, this unassuming corner of Afghanistan will be the place, ‘we first met.’PAKTYA, Afghanistan – Tony Humphreys of Pittsburgh, and Lisette Bonano of Tampa, Fla., light the unity candle during their marriage commitment ceremony at Forward Operating Base Lightning Feb. 7. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Maritza Freeland, 17th Public Affairs Detachment)PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Tony Humphreys of Pittsburgh, places a ring on the finger of Lisette Bonano of Tampa, Fla., during their marriage commitment ceremony at Forward Operating Base Lightning Feb. 7. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Maritza Freeland, 17th Public Affairs Detachment)


Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 February 2011 00:35


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The security and safety of Afghan civilians is an important part of every coalition operation. All weapons caches found during these operations are destroyed to ensure they do not harm civilians or military personnel.

“Mines are indiscriminate killers. They don’t distinguish between Soldiers or civilians, between men, women or children. We must all work together to eliminate the threat posed by these deadly weapons,” said U.S. Army Col. Ben Corell, commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Task Force Red Bulls.

If you see any suspicious activity or know of a weapons cache in your area, please report it. Call the Operations Coordination Center Provincial Tip Line at 079-662-0193 or at 079-397-0975.