‘Wolfhounds’ lend a helping hand during Ramadan

| September 8, 2011 | 0 Comments
Combined Joint Task Force 1-Afghanistan
News Release

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan — American Soldiers partnered with soldiers from the Afghanistan National Army 1st Kandak and local elders, here, recently, to execute Operation Zakat, to donate provisions to needy Afghans during Ramadan.

The 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, “Task Force No Fear,” locally known as “Wolfhounds,” 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, led the operation, headed by TF No Fear’s chaplain.

Zakat is known as the third pillar of Islam, which embodies serving those in need, especially during Ramadan.

TF No Fear and its ANA partners traveled to donate rice, cooking oil, tea, potatoes, tomatoes, flour, sugar, school supplies and toys to destitute families within the province.

Prior to the mission, Capt. John Smith, chaplain, TF No Fear, and Lt. Col. Daniel Wilson, commander, TF No Fear, talked with Afghan locals in the area surrounding Forward Operating Base Bostick, here, to ensure the unit was giving to those who were the most in need.

“I asked our FOB mullah (Islamic teacher of sacred law) and the 1st Kandak commander, ANA Col. Aleem Shah Qaderi, who (helped us) choose all the items we handed out,” said Smith. “I also spoke with many of the workers here, and they assured me the Afghan people needed and wanted the items we provided.”

Smith and his counterparts were proud to work hand in hand with ANA and Afghan Border Patrol to help families during Ramadan.

“I believe that the interaction with the local leaders, mullah, families and the youth of Afghanistan is so important, because much of our mission is about building solid relationships with the Afghan people,” Smith said. “This (event) will go a long way to help (Afghanis) lead a better life and have hope for a better future. We were able to promote peace and the benevolent expression of Zakat during Ramadan.”

“It is a blessing to help those less fortunate,” said Staff Sgt. Toya Alexander-Cruz, brigade chaplain assistant, 3rd BCT. “We are here to do a job, and (that job) is to win the hearts and minds of the people and show them that we care.

“I love children, and I was happy to see their faces when they got their toys,” Alexander-Cruz said.

Operation Zakat was a display of true partnership between the ANA and TF No Fear, according to Qaderi.

“The plan was to reach out to the needy families. … We accomplished that,” Qaderi said. “My hope is that we do more missions similar to Zakat. The people … really appreciated the items we provided.

“We took care of so many orphans and widows who have been left out for years,” he said. “These people will never forget this experience.”


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Category: Community Relations, Deployed Forces, News

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