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Face of Defense: Reserve Commander Delivers Cheer to Afghans

By Capt. Michael Meridith, USAF
Special to American Forces Press Service

BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan, Dec. 5, 2007 – The frigid Afghanistan weather was made a little less harsh for Afghan villagers near here earlier this week, thanks to thousands of pounds of humanitarian-relief supplies delivered by a visiting Air Force leader.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Children greet Air Force Lt. Gen. John A. Bradley on Dec. 3, 2007, at a village near Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. Bradley arrived in Afghanistan Dec. 2 with more than 25,000 pounds of humanitarian relief supplies collected by his wife, Jan, for distribution to villages. Photo by Master Sgt. Rick Sforza, USAF

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Air Force Lt. Gen. John A. Bradley, commander of Air Force Reserve Command, arrived here Dec. 3 with more than 25,000 pounds of supplies for Afghan families, collected by his wife, Jan.

The delivery included about 500 boxes of blankets, clothing and school supplies, slated for distribution through provincial reconstruction teams, Air Force Office of Special Investigation humanitarian-assistance drops, and Bagram’s own Operation Care.

“There is a great need out there, an incredible need,” Bradley told a group of assembled airmen here. “I’ve seen pictures of little kids here that will bring tears to your eyes. I’ve seen pictures of them in the snow with no shoes on, wearing lightweight clothes. They are freezing, and some of them are dying.”

After spending the day visiting airmen across the wing and thanking them for their service, Bradley headed to a nearby village, where he handed out supplies to local families enduring Afghanistan’s cold climate.

The delivery was just the first step in what the general said would be continuing efforts over the coming weeks to get the supplies out. He commended the work of airmen involved in these and similar efforts throughout Afghanistan every day, adding that America stands squarely behind them.

“Some of what you’re going to unload here is going to save some lives,” he said. “People argue about policies, but the American people can separate that from airmen, soldiers, sailors and Marines who are doing the job. I have never seen it better in my 40 years in the Air Force. They thank you, and I am really proud of you.”

(Air Force Capt. Michael Meridith is assigned to 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs.)

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Lt. Gen. John A. Bradley, USAF

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