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Patriotic Article
Military
By USAF SSgt. Angelique N. Smythe

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Sons Of Bazaar Vendors Enjoy Morning With Kandahar Airmen
(January 27, 2010)

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Senior Airman William Weaver and an Afghan student pose for a photo Jan. 2, 2010, at the Kandahar Airfield Bazaar School. The school is comprised of 30 to 40 Afghan children who accompany their fathers at the bazaar. Airman Weaver is a communications technician with the 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron.
Senior Airman William Weaver and an Afghan student pose for a photo Jan. 2, 2010, at the Kandahar Airfield Bazaar School. The school is comprised of 30 to 40 Afghan children who accompany their fathers at the bazaar. Airman Weaver is a communications technician with the 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron.
 KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (1/22/2010 - AFNS) -- More than 20 volunteers from the 451st Air Expeditionary Wing spent the morning with more than 30 sons of Afghan vendors Jan. 2, at the Kandahar Airfield Bazaar School.

The school, which is in session each Saturday morning, was the idea of the Command Kandahar Airfield chief warrant officer who wanted to offer education to the children of Kandahar Airfield Bazaar traders. The boys, who are generally between ages 5 and 14, work with their fathers at the bazaar.

When school facilitators, Canadians Capt. Scott Ash and Maj. Jen Setter, of the Kandahar Airfield School Organization informed Master Sgt. Wenesday Traylor, the 73rd Expeditionary Air Control Squadron first sergeant, of the opportunity to bring out a sponsoring team for a day at the school, Airmen excitingly volunteered and gathered donations for the students.
Senior Airman William Spradlin and Senior Airman Fredrick Mayhew, both from the 73rd EACS, used this opportunity to deliver some of the humanitarian aid items they'd been collecting throughout their deployment.

"We distributed flyers and information about the humanitarian programs here at (Kandahar Airfield)," said Airman Spradlin. "We received an amazing response and collected thousands of items, such as school supplies, teaching tools, cold weather clothing, games and toys."
At 9 a.m. the Airmen gathered to set up tables and chairs for the school and then played football, baseball and soccer with the children. Their Afghan teacher, who was previously a Kandahar City school teacher, provided approximately one hour of lessons.

The team then provided activities for the children and even though they had to be mindful of the language barrier, many of the young boys spoke English well and could do a small amount of translation.

"We taught them how to make paper airplanes and helicopters," said Airman Spradlin. "We also taught them how to fold paper footballs and even paper cups which were filled with candy upon completion. Candy turned out to be a big hit."

Large bags of school supply items were handed out to each student prior to their departure.
 Master Sgt. Wenesday Traylor and an Afghan student color together during a volunteer opportunity Jan. 2, 2010, at the Kandahar Airfield Bazaar School. Sergeant Traylor is the first sergeant for the 73rd Expeditionary Air Control Squadron.
Master Sgt. Wenesday Traylor and an Afghan student color together during a volunteer opportunity Jan. 2, 2010, at the Kandahar Airfield Bazaar School. Sergeant Traylor is the first sergeant for the 73rd Expeditionary Air Control Squadron.
At noon, the boys returned to the Bazaar to assist their fathers.

"The children seemed to enjoy being with us, and I think all of our volunteers were happy to be a part of this project," Airman Spradlin said.

By USAF SSgt. Angelique N. Smythe
451st Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
USAF photo by Senior Airman Timothy Taylor
Copyright 2010
 

Reprinted from Air Force News Service

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