Every Friday, 60 to 70 Afghan children get shoes and socks at Forward Operating Base Kala Gush through the efforts of the provincial reconstruction team in Afghanistan’s Nurestan province.
The project began when PRT member Army 1st Sgt. Terry Pittman saw two Afghan children leaving the base after receiving medical care and he noticed the barefooted older child was carrying the younger child. He learned the children had come from miles away, over harsh terrain, so the younger child could be treated for cold symptoms.
“It touched me, because I imagined my 12-year-old son walking that distance, with no shoes on and carrying his little sister,” Pittman said. He brought the children back to the base, rounded up sandals for them, and decided he had to do more. “I want to help the children of Afghanistan by making sure every child that walks on [to] this FOB leaves with shoes and socks.”
Pittman said he decided looking for a solution through humanitarian aid resources would take too long, so he called everyone he knew and asked them to send shoes. When members of the PRT heard the plan, they instantly supported it. Since then, shoes, socks, coats and toys have been coming in from across the United States.
“Without these people and their contributions, then this wouldn’t happen,” Pittman said. “I want to thank them all, because they have really gone beyond the call of duty to help the people here.”
For some of the children, the shoes replace battered sandals with holes worn through the soles. For other children, they are the first shoes they’ve ever worn.
“If these children don’t remember anything else about us being here, they might remember that an American soldier gave [them their] first pair of shoes or socks,” Pittman said.
©2009 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not BrooklynDaily.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynDaily.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.