As a multiple-tour Iraq War veteran, I distinctly remember the hardships civilians caught in a conflict endure. In Helmand province, Afghanistan, Afghan security forces and US special operations forces are engaged in some of the toughest battles in recent memory. Fighting in this critical province has been particularly fierce, where it is a daily fight to protect civilians from extremist groups.
In my experience, servicemembers and their local partners working and fighting on the ground often know what is fundamentally needed to help the local population. Spirit of America works with these US servicemembers to help them meet these needs.
In this instance, US Marines deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan identified the need for blankets and tarps for struggling families living in areas where the Afghan National Army and their US Marine advisors are conducting combined operations against terrorist organizations. The need and the solution is simple; as the cold winter comes, delivering blankets and tarps to impoverished families shows that the Afghan Army is invested in their people during this critical point in the conflict. It is these improved relations that save lives in conflicts – both American and Afghan.
I have already received positive feedback from our Marines; local, regional, and national media outlets have covered the project, and hundreds of innocent families are being kept a little warmer and a little dryer this winter. Please read more about the project here.