Government: Islamic Republic
Population: 33 million
Life expectancy: 44 years
Religion: Muslim 99%
Location: Land-locked (no water ways) touching borders with China, Pakistan, Iran and Tajikistan. Mostly mountains, less than 15% of land can be used for farming.
Economy: Among the world’s poorest; 53% live below poverty. #1 export is opium; 40% unemployment rate
Control: Warlords ruled from 1989 to 1996 when Taliban took over. Taliban ousted by U.S. led troops in 2001 for its support of Osama bin Laden Clearly, Afghanistan is not a place you want to take your annual vacation. Yet, some 94,000 U.S. troops live there doing battle not only against the enemy but the severe weather conditions. One U.S. troop that will be in Afghanistan by year end is one of our own talent, First Sargent Dave Folsom. Folsom has already spent time in Guantanamo Bay detention camp and Iraq for one year periods. Now he is going off once again in support of the U.S. to defend our freedom among other things. With so much discontent among U.S. citizens (civilians), why do military experts such as Folsom go and risk their life? Folsom rattles off many reasons such as “It’s my duty; we need to make a difference; to support the troops; we got a job to do and I’m going to do my part.” At the end of the day, we are lucky to have such individuals among us. Another one of our talent, John Nichols, also served in the U.S. military and did his honor to serve our country. Nichols is back at work as a civilian but will always be a military guy at heart. Today is Folsom’s last day at TNG. He will spend the next few months preparing for his departure. He won’t be back at TNG until late 2011. That’s a long time to be gone. But if there is one thing I know about Folsom, it is this: He will work hard everyday, command his troops with authority, demand results and be back a stronger person. We will certainly miss him. Happy Thursday!
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