My civil affairs team, CAT 635, was recently a recipient of your thoughtful care packages. We are very small team of 4 US soldiers and 1 US interpreter so we shared our goodies with our Special Forces brothers. They are very grateful as well. In return for your support and efforts, I have included a picture and some information about us.
A little bit about our team: My name is CPT Jason Parker and I am the team leader. The additional three team members are Corporal Steven Underwood, Specialist Chalsee Bulmer, and Specialist Michael Salazar. Additionally, we have an interpreter, Haji Ali whom we call grandpa. I am from Jacksonville, FL and the remainder of my team is from Los Angeles, CA.
Where do we live: We currently are living on a small base in Paktika, Afghanistan. We are about 20 miles from the border of Pakistan. The weather conditions vary due to the 7,000ft + altitude and right now it is around 80-90 degrees and dry.
What we do: Our team is focused on the economic and governance development of several districts. Our main efforts are focused towards education, rule of law, economics, agriculture development, public works, etc. We meet weekly with district leadership, elders, and local population to identify sources of instability. The task requires significant patience with the language barriers, customary differences, and the growing pains of a developing country. However, we have established friendships with some our partners and continue to enjoy our time here.
Picture: In the picture, the weapons in the foreground are M240B 7.62 machine guns. On the hood of the vehicle are M249 5.56 machine guns. The vehicle is a MAT-V and functions very well in the terrain. From left to right, Haji Ali our interpreter. He speaks Pashto, English, Urdu, and understands Farsi. Specialist Bulmer our female engagement asset. Myself, CPT Parker, the Team Leader. Corporal Underwood, the team sergeant. Specialist Mike Salazar is not pictured as he was on rest and recuperation in Los Angeles during the photo.
While I was on rest and recuperation in Germany, I received an email from my team sergeant Corporal Underwood stating that I received 5 large boxes. I couldn’t think who sent them and told him to put them in my room. When I returned to the base, my team asked about my trip and quickly reminded me of these 5 large boxes. The suspense was killing them as they walked with me to my room. We were really delighted when we opened them. These are truly the best care packages that we have received and are grateful for your time and efforts. These care packages reminded us of why we continue to make the sacrifices of creature comforts and time with our families. Bala Cynwyd and Welsh Valley Middle Schools, thank you for your heartfelt support. Mr. Fred Kevlan I look forward to meeting you and continuing to correspond with a true patriot. In honor of Fallen Warrior 1LT Colby Umbrell, RLTW! (Rangers Lead the Way)