American Child Donates Toy Collection To Afghans
(September 9, 2010)
U.S. Army Sgt. Greg Locklear of Fort Bragg, N.C., a generator mechanic with the Battery B, 3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery, who is working as an assistant with the Forward Operating Base Mayor's cell, hands out toys donated by a child in the United States to local construction workers in eastern Afghanistan's Kunar province on September 4, 2010.
Photo by Staff Sgt. Nathan Lipscomb
| ||Afghanistan (September 7, 2010) -- “Hi. This is my collection. I am happy to give it to the children. I am 11-years-old and tell them to enjoy,” read the hand-written note sent by a Michigan youth. The letter came with three boxes of stuffed animals sent to the Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team at Forward Operating Base Wright in eastern Afghanistan's Kunar province, to be donated to local children.|
The young girl decided to donate what she had to those less fortunate and sent the toys to the PRT through the Troop Scoop program, which also included a man's childhood collection of stuffed animals. The gifts then found their way to U.S. Army Sgt. Greg Locklear, a father of two from Fort Bragg, N.C., who volunteered to help each stuffed animal find a new home.
“She has a heart for other people,” said Locklear, a generator mechanic with the Battery B, 3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery, who is working as an assistant with the FOB mayor's cell here.
“Her donations show she is very selfless; she focuses on other people's well being, and that's a good thing.”
The boxes arrived during the Islamic holy days of Ramadan. Eid, a time of giving celebrated during the three days following Ramadan, was quickly approaching and made the timing of the gifts even more appropriate.
“It shows that Americans do have good intentions, we do have a heart, and we do care about the locals' well being,” said Locklear. “Even with the language barrier, this is a way to let us communicate that we do care and that helps a lot.”
Locklear located a group of construction workers whose
|children would make good use of the donated toys. The men make an average of $200 a month and typically have around five or six children, with a few having families as large as 10.|
|“They were very excited and happy about receiving them,” Locklear said, after handing out the toys. “I think they really appreciated them and were grateful. I know for sure they wouldn't be able to purchase them out of their pocket.” |
According to Locklear, children provide a common ground for the coalition forces and their Afghan allies. Even with limited knowledge of the English language, the local workers will ask about the Soldiers' families and their kids. The soldiers are just as curious and ask the same.
“They are really inquisitive to know about your kids and how old they are, what they do, and it's the same thing we're curious to know; what their kids do, what grades they're in, where they go to school,” said Locklear. “It is a common bond, that and being the sole provider and able to take care of the wife and kids. Just like for us, it is very important to them to take care of their families.”
For the 11-year-old girl who was a stranger to the soldiers here, she is now known for her generosity.
“I pray that she continues to have the same heart and God continues to bless her for thinking of other people,” said Locklear. “It's great that she supports the Afghans here.”
To find out more about Troop Scoop, a program which runs a news blog featuring the continuous “successes in Iraq and Afghanistan,” visit their site.
By Army 1st Lt. Amy Abbott
Combined Joint Task Force 101
Provided through DVIDS
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