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Haji Mohammad, a village elder, passes a notebook to a student at a local school in Shir Ghazay, Afghanistan, Jan. 17, 2012. The school supplies were donated by the Marines of Georgian Liaison Team 6, Regimental Combat Team 7, Regional Command Southwest, which they received from their families, friends and companies.

Photo by Cpl. Anthony Ward

Shir Ghazay school receives much needed supplies

23 Jan 2013 | Cpl. Anthony Ward

Marines and Georgian soldiers delivered much needed supplies to a local school in Shir Ghazay, Afghanistan, Jan. 17.

The Marines are with Georgian Liaison Team 6, Regimental Combat Team 7, Regional Command Southwest, and directly support the soldiers of the 32nd Georgian Battalion.

The school falls within the area of responsibility for the Georgians, who provide security for the area.

“The school opened Nov.28 (2012) with about 60 kids attending it,” said 1st Lt. Whitney A. Reynolds, executive officer for GLT-6. “We immediately saw there were no school supplies for the kids.”

Discovering the children needed supplies, the Marines of GLT-6 jumped into action.

“I talked to the guys,” said Reynolds. “Let’s pool together and get supplies for these kids.”

The Marines reached out to their families, friends and companies to assist them in gathering as many supplies as they could for the school.

By the time the service members prepared to patrol the school, the Marines had received nearly 75 boxes stuffed with pencils, note pads and other things the children needed.

Upon arrival, the children were immediately attentive, welcoming the troops with open arms and big smiles.

The supplies were stacked just out of sight of the children and then presented to them in an impromptu formation. As each child received some sort of supplies, whether it was a notebook or pack of markers, they each lit up, appreciative in what they had just received.

“That school is very important for this region,” said Lt. Col. Phridon Tereladze, commander, 32nd Georgian Bn. “The future and development of Afghanistan depends on education and the children. When we first got here, the school wasn’t running, and they had no teachers. With help and supplies it has changed. The security in the area has improved as well, leading to more children attending the school.”

The GLT has continued to receive supplies through the mail, and the response by those they have reached out to continues to grow. As the boxes pile up, they will continue to deliver them to the school, to the delight of the Afghans.

“As you know, the lack of education is a big problem around here,” said Haji Mohammad, a local village elder. “This school benefits the children. They learn everything here. They become educated here. We really appreciate what the troops have given us, the notebooks, the pencils, all the supplies. It was much needed, and will aid the children in their education process.”

As the drawdown of International Security Assistance Force troops continues, the Afghan government continues to take control of its country. For Afghanistan to prosper, the next generation must be setup for success. Schools like these aid in the process to accomplish that mission.