In honor of Veterans Day, here’s a touching story from ONE member Jason Ravnsborg, a major in the US Army Reserves. He talks about a school supplies project that he spearheaded in Afghanistan. Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
On this Veterans Day, I look back at my time in Afghanistan and a program my unit developed for the children. I have served as a major in the US Army Reserves since 2003 and am proud of the humanitarian efforts we led that helped the poorest of the poor in Afghanistan.
School supplies were non-existent. My unit established a program called “Backpacks for Afghanistan.” We worked with a number of companies and charitable organizations to obtain and arrange shipping of backpacks to Afghanistan, then oversaw the supplies and distribution upon their arrival. We worked with local officials to go out to schools and give backpacks, loaded with school supplies, to the children in devastated neighborhoods. The smiles and the appreciation the kids showed for something as small as a pencil were priceless. To hear the stories from young girls and young women who were getting an education for the first time is a moment I will not soon forget.
I am convinced that because of our efforts with the locals, our security on the ground was forever changed and it is the reason I have become a ONE volunteer. It is crucial to the safety of the men and women in combat zones to continue humanitarian missions and it is critical that Congress continue funding the Global Fund. Between 1999 and 2007, 42 million children went to school for the first time. It takes so little to make a huge difference.
-Maj. Jason Ravnsborg, ONE member, South Dakota