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Soldiers Aid People of Gormach

Apr 16, 2010

By 1st Lt. Tim Allen

GHORMACH, Afghanistan -- Dozens of piles of gravel lay in downtown Gormach untouched since construction came to a halt months ago. Crumbling to the ground are local shops amid dusty streets where vendors offer basic items including bicycle parts and naan, the local flat bread.

Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment moving into the Gormach District have started their mission by aiding the people of the area and forming relationships with the local leaders.

"We held a shura and the elders said they want peace," said Lt. Mohammed Rosi, Afghan national police. "They are tired of the Taliban coming into their villages and harassing their people."

Over one hundred Soldiers from 3-6 along with an Afghan kandak, or battalion, will soon house an Afghan national army base in the Gormach District.

Medics with Headquarters and Headquarters Battery treated a local boy, Percy, who suffered wounds after being struck by a rocket propelled grenade earlier this year while playing in a field with his brothers near their home.

"This boy was hit with an RPG," said Sgt. David Hossage, a platoon sergeant, HHB, 3-6, of the eight year old body covered with scars and shrapnel wounds.

"We gave him antibiotic cream and taught him how he can keep his wounds clean so they will not get infected," said Sgt. Jerry Rhoades, a medic with HHB, 3-6.

Before leaving, the Soldiers gave him some candy and taught him a few English words.

Afghan and American Soldiers also recently treated a farmer who came to the base seeking aid for a bullet wound suffered to his foot.

According to local police, the farmer is now recovering in a hospital in Mazar-e Sharif.

"The people are expressing their concerns," said Capt. Stefan Hutnik, commander of HHB, 3-6. "They want peace and they are aware Soldiers are moving to the area to expand operations and work with the Afghan police."

Hutnik and Rosi both expect to bring change to the district and hope to the people.

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