MILFORD, Mass. –
The impact of the US Army is not in the battles we’ve fought, but in the relationships we’ve built.
From South America to Afghanistan, Soldiers and Airmen constantly help build infrastructure, give medical aid and volunteer their time to create lasting relationships.
While deployed in Kabul, 1st Lt. Ana S. Monteiro, Distribution Platoon Leader for Golf Company 126 BSB, worked as the Assistant S9. She worked in Civil Military Operations as a Project Purchasing Officer for her yearlong deployment.
“We performed civil projects like schools and wells,” said Monteiro. “We did medical drops and clinics. Things like that I coordinated it, paid for it and went out to inspect a lot of them.”
Monteiro worked alongside many different government officials while working on the multiple projects that her group did.
She met many times with the Ministry of Education to work to develop infrastructure.
“Any schools that he (ministry of education) wanted we went in and build,” said Monteiro.
“The ministry of Public Health would give us a list of clinics and we’d do med drops,” said Monteiro. “Our mission in Afghanistan was to train and mentor the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police. We would conduct med drops and our teams would go to assist. We integrated the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police to allow them look like they’re doing the job. So instead of us putting our name on it, we allowed them to put theirs on it, because at the end of the day we’re going to be leaving and they’re the ones who have to continue on.”
With this kind of work the military leaves a good impression, said Monteiro.
“All the people really wanted us there,” said Monteiro. “It was very positive. I got to see the positive side of us rebuilding a country and people really do want us there.”
“I got to meet women in the ANA, or the Afghan National Army, and the Afghan National Police, which was interesting because that is big thing for them.”
Additionally, as a female it was nice to see other women in similar positions, said Monteiro. The Afghan women liked to see it too, a women officer in the US Army.
“I was able to see how they progressed. Women are now going to school and getting an education,” said Monteiro.
Afghanistan is not the only country in which the Massachusetts National Guard deploys Soldiers and Airmen for humanitarian missions.
1st Lt. Lori A. Alix, Chief, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, deployed to Honduras to work as a Protocol Officer for Joint Task Force Bravo.
“Joint Task Force Bravo has a very unique mission in Central America, but our role in SOUTHCOM's security engagement strategy in the region is not that well known stateside,” said Alix. “Therefore we face a constant battle with the Services over manpower and budget. As the Protocol Officer, I acted as the interface between visitors to Soto Cano Air Base and the command. It was my job to ensure that DVs, such as the Secretary of the Army, not only had a memorable visit to Honduras, but that they left as advocates of our mission and our people.”
Alix spent time with children around Honduras visiting orphanages.
“I volunteered at the Orphanage every other Sunday unless I had a mission,” said Alix. “I also assisted with the organization of a Holiday Party for the children which ensured every child at the orphanage received a present. “
“The most memorable moments I had from my deployment was visiting with the children of Tierra Santa Orphanage in Comayagua, Honduras,” said Alix. “It is an indescribable feeling to see how a few extra clothing items, food and spending quality time with a child provides such positive effects in their lives. Taking part in humanitarian role was an incredible opportunity.”
Furthermore, Alix went on a Chapel Hike, which distributed food to one of the local villages. As well as, conducted visits to the Aids Hospital where I donated 9 sets of new sheets and money to purchase a coffin to assist in giving the deceased a proper burial.