Monday, June 3, 2013

Our Marine in the Philippines

Josh with a Philippine soldier who wanted a picture with an American Marine.

Having served in several combat tours as an engineer in both Iraq and Afghanistan, our son, Josh, has had a much different assignment recently, taking several trips with the Marines to a remote barangay in the Philippines. One of his photos there was published on the official Marines website.

I was surprised, as many are, to learn of the extensive civil affairs (CA) work that the military does around the world, assessing needs for critical infrastructure projects such as roads, clinics, schools, power plants, water treatment facilities, and the like. Military units work with civil authorities and civilian populations to lessen the impact of military operations on them during peace and conflict. CA units act as liaisons between the civilian inhabitants of a war zone or disaster area and the military presence, keeping informed of the status of the civilian populace as well as bringing assistance to locals by either coordinating military operations with government contractors or directly distributing aid and supplies.

One of Josh's projects involved work at the Shepherd of the Hills Children's Foundation. Other community relations work included building a water tower, doing an extensive medical capability assessment, as well as other community service projects. Forever the master of understatement, we seldom learn as much from Josh as we would wish, but we were heartened to receive this news about this recent and fascinating assignment.

The chicken-looking thing was dinner 1 day-old chicken.
Not used to having my food look at me, but it wasn't too bad actually.

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