By Tech Sgt. Samara Scott
Regional Support Command-West
NTM-A Public Affairs
HERAT, Afghanistan –The sound of laughing and little girls’ voices filled the ears and hearts of Army soldiers from Camp Stone as they visited Kho Ja Abdulla Ansar girl’s orphanage in Herat, May 30. The all-girls orphanage houses about 100 girls aging from 2-18.
This was the first time that soldiers visited the orphanage. The Dragon Troop unit from Camp Stone found out about Kho Ja Abdulla Ansar through their Afghan interrupter. He came to them one day asking them to adopt a boy’s orphanage because they were in need of supplies and help. After visiting the boy’s orphanage, the troops decided to also adopt a girl’s orphanage.
“We visited the orphanage for the first time and was immediately impacted by what we saw,” said Capt. Tywin Handson, Dragon Troop commander. “Ever since that first visit, the troop and 5-1st Kandak [battalion] have partnered to officially adopt both male and female orphanages as well as an elementary school.”
School supplies were donated and mailed to the camp from people back in the States. The 7-10th Cavalry (S-3) operations shop purchased Muslim prayer rugs, toys, and clothes. Many of the donations came from the Dragon Soldiers and the chaplain’s office at Camp Stone.
The troops plan on going back to Kho Ja Abdulla Ansar in the near future in hopes to continue building relationships with the community. The children there were very welcoming to them and enjoyed having new people to play with.
“I believe it was a great experience for Dragon Troop females as well as the girls living in the orphanage. The orphanage girls had never seen American female Soldiers before,” said Handson. “Hopefully this experience will inspire the female orphans to grow up to be productive citizens as well as serve their country as female Afghan soldiers in the future.”
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