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)
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)
PAKTYA, Afghanistan – Gheiratullah, an Afghan medical soldier, practices self aid and buddy care at the Paktya Regional Medical Center Feb. 13. (click for more)
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 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 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)
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)
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)
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 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)
PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Pfc. David Fountain sat in a darkened room in Charikaar Feb. 16. Candles sat on the table in front of him and a string of colored lights on the wall added to the illumination. A microphone and a group of Afghans waited for him to speak.
“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,” Fountain began.
Beside the intelligence analyst from Ames, Iowa, sat an interpreter, who filled in the pauses with a translation of the poem Fountain was reading, Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken,” for the audience of the Afghan Radio Dunya.
The occasion was a mix of Western and Islamic cultural traditions. Ahmad Anaiesh, who runs Radio Dunya and also read a poem, said the broadcast was part of a two-day celebration to mark Valentine’s Day and honor the birth of Muhammad, known as Mawlid al Nabi.
“Today we also share our culture with a society and also with other people in the United States,” Anaiesh said through an interpreter.
This mix of cultures was not lost on Fountain. While he often works with data about Afghans, this was his first time to leave Bagram Airfield and experience the culture firsthand.
“I feel, personally, like my eyes were opened to something new, and I think it was a really great overall experience,” said Fountain with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Task Force Red Bulls.
The Soldiers who came, however, did not just recite the poetry of others. U.S. Army Spc. Robyn Smalley of Fairfield, Iowa, an intelligence analyst with Co. B, 2nd BCT, 34th Inf. Div., Brigade Special Troops Battalion, read a poem, titled “Peace” she composed two years ago for International Peace Day.
“Part of the reason I went ahead and decided to choose that poem, even though it was two years old, was because I thought it would be special. I wanted to help bridge that relationship between U.S. and Afghans, and what better subject to speak on than peace?” Smalley said.
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