Tabasum Sharqi (left) opens a book she received for graduating at the top of her Fatima Girls High School class at a ceremony held at the Kunar Department of Women’s (click for more)
Soldiers from the Polish Army and the Texas National Guard Agribusiness Development Team-IV check their shot grouping during qualification on the Polish AK-74 5.56 mm Mini-Beryl short assault rifle Feb. (click for more)
U.S. Army Soldiers from Company B, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Task Force Duke, play an impromptu game of volleyball against a team (click for more)
Dr. Mehirulla Muslim, the Nurgaram District subgovernor, addresses an audience of teachers, government officials and citizens during a ceremony to celebrate a completed solar panel electricity project Feb. 21 in (click for more)
U.S. Army Spc. Raheem Stewart, an automations specialist with TF Phoenix, steps along the rafters of the building his team helped wire for communications. Stewart, from Dallas, was one of (click for more)
An Afghan National Army soldier from Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 201st Infantry Regiment, searches a pile of rocks in the courtyard of a high-value target home outside the village of (click for more)
U.S. Army Capt. Nicole Zupka of Fair Lawn, N.J., a battlewatch captain with Combined Joint Task Force-Paladin, helps an Afghan child with her writing skills during female engagement team training (click for more)
LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army soldiers move through Kharwar District to prevent the Taliban’s freedom of movement Feb. 12. U.S. and Afghan soldiers braved more than 3 feet (click for more)
Kentucky Agribusiness Development Team II members, U.S. Army Spc. Justin Allen (left), a London, Ky., native, and U.S. Army Sgt. Nicholas Combs, a Corbin, Ky., native, get to know a (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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BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Coalition forces killed seven insurgents in defensive operations in the Alah Say District, Kapisa Province, eastern Afghanistan, March 29.
|ANSF, ISAF begin major operation in Laghman valley|
LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The Afghan National Security Forces, partnered with U.S. Task Forces Red Bulls and Phoenix and French Task Force La Fayette, began operations in Galuch Valley, Laghman Province, March 25.
|ANSF, TF Bastogne continue operations in Kunar|
KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security Forces and coalition troops from Task Force Bastogne continued operations in the Shigal District March 18 after clearing the village of Lawsin and the surrounding area.
|Afghan leaders, coalition forces look forward|
PAKTYA, Afghanistan – Leaders from across eastern Afghanistan attended a security conference March 9 at Forward Operating Base Thunder, the home of the Afghan Army’s 203rd Thunder Corps.