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A Whisper

LTC Sam Aldridge, Vascular Surgeon
Just outside a village in Logar Province, Afghanistan * Entering village in Logar Province, Afghanistan * Villagers begin to come out to see the new arrivals * Father 'Z' meets with village leader to arrange for giving out supplies * Village boy receiving school supplies and clothing - Logar Province, Afghanistan * Village boy with new jeans and a backpack full of school supplies - Logar Province, Afghanistan * Village boys with the school supplies and clothing - Logar Province, Afghanistan *

Over 102 boxes of school supplies and more than 3,000 socks have been delivered to the children of the villages in the Logar Province. They were delivered by Father Zielinski, his team, and the soldiers of the 173D Airborne Civil Affairs unit. All of this because one man sent a whisper back home to a community of family, friends and co-workers who responded with great passion.

LTC Aldridge knows that he is fortunate to have such incredible support. Support from his family, his hospital, his partners and his great community of Laconia, NH.  It is simply impossible for the Reserve forces of the U.S. military to function without the support of the people back home. It is abundantly clear that for every one of us here, there are 100’s of you back home that make sacrifices to ensure all runs as smooth as possible while we’re away.

I asked LTC Aldridge if he had a message for those of you back home. In his typical mix of back home folksiness and cerebral intelligence, he provided me with two quotes off the cuff:

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.” – Shakespeare – Merchant of Venice Act 5, scene 1

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” – Sir Winston Churchill

Finally, as I wrapped up my discussion with Sam, I saw the brief moment of his guard being lowered. He felt the impact of those quotes – knowing that his whisper echoed back from his community as a loud voice more than willing to give to such a terribly impoverished nation.

* Photos provided courtesy of CPT Chad Zielinski, USAF Chaplain.


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