Michael Yon posted this story today on his blog. It sure isn’t something CNN, MSNBC, or CBS is going to have on their prime time news.
A singular sentence in reply to a common, simple question. A whisper from Afghanistan has returned a loud echo from Laconia, New Hampshire, a small town of 12,000 (40,000 in the summer) nestled amongst the glacial lakes in the center of the state.
Dr. Sam Aldridge has practiced peripheral vascular surgery in Laconia, NH for the past 15 years based solely on a gentlemen’s handshake with Tom Clairmont, CEO of Lakes Region General Hospital, who has been a stalwart supporter of Aldridge’s military commitment.
On January 15th, 2010 LTC Aldridge left for his third active duty deployment since joining the Army Reserves Medical Corps. Before leaving, Danielle Mostoller, the hospital’s PR representative, had LTC Aldridge promise to write regular updates that would be placed in the hospital’s email newsletter, which reaches 1600 people.
By February, 2010 LTC Aldridge was settled in with the 909th Forward Surgical Team (FST) in Forward Operating Base (FOB) Shank located in Logar Province, Afghanistan.
Soon after Aldridge’s “updates” hit the hospital newsletter, people began to respond. Danielle asked if there was anything they could send him. Maybe some care packages of snacks or books and such? LTC Aldridge, knowing that there were so many people around him that really did need something, responded with a simple request of socks for the Afghan soldiers and school supplies for the orphaned children of a nearby local village. A singular sentence. A simple whisper.
The picture on page 2 of the boy holding a pair of jeans and a backpack of school supplies really got to me. He’s probably about the age of my oldest son, yet their situations couldn’t be more different. My son lives in the most prosperous nation on earth. He goes to a school where they have books, crayons, computers, gym, music class, etc. This boy, and many others like him live in mud huts, in a country whose chief export is Opium.
May God bless the children in that hell hole. And God bless our troops out there, may they come home soon and be safe.