22 August 2008

Legacy of the Second-503 BCT 173DABN

The men and women of Second Battalion 503D Regiment 173rd Airborne Infantry Brigade (Sep) have left lasting memories of their 15 month deployment to northeastern Afghanistan.

In addition to the memories they keep of their fallen brothers, they have left monuments to the sacrifices made in the shape of a better life for the Afghan people. Better medical care, better roads, clean water supplies, and most of all, the chance to become educated. The oportunity to learn, as we do, free from fear of reprisal from sadistic monsters who place women below cattle in stature. Twisted humans who believe they are superior and enforce that superiority through acts of barbarism and terror.

The Second 503 173rd Airborne Infantry Brigade (Sep) left their mark on northeastern Afghanistan, "Enemy Central", by building schools.

One of the first opened last week.

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (August 20, 2008) – For the children of Bagram Village Girl’s High School, August 19 was the start of a new semester. Students filtered through the gate the same as any other school day, but were surprised to see their school had changed since the end of the last semester.
Thanks to the efforts of the Afghan government and U.S. forces, the school reopened with three new classrooms, running water, a fresh coat of paint, new desks, and a wall surrounding the perimeter.
“You can see a lot of difference in the students’ faces,” said Naqeeba, administrator and headmaster of the school. “The students are good here without help, but we see that our government cares about us. It’s been a month and a half since they came to our school and asked what we needed, and since then we have seen good progress.”
The five-year-old school has seen few improvements since opening, but hard-working students have made the school an academic powerhouse in the area.
The school received an award from the Parwan provincial minister of education for its record of having the most students graduate and advance to higher education.
“When the Taliban was in power, it was illegal for girls to go to school, but we never forgot how important it is to educate all Afghan children.
This school used to be housing for Russian pilots, but the government of Afghanistan helped us make it usable as a place of education.” Before the Soldiers left the students to their learning, they helped teachers and local officials pass out backpacks with school supplies to the students.
“A lot of families can’t even afford to buy paper or a pen for their children,” said
Subhanallah, a teacher at the school. “We don’t have a lot of money, but I see a bright future for schools in this area. What matters most is the students are interested in studying and learning, and the people here see the value in education.”

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