Skip to comments.Afghan Villagers Turn in Weapons to Marines
Posted on 08/04/2005 6:18:27 PM PDT by SandRat
The villagers at first wanted the Marine Corps to pay for the weapons before they would reveal the location, but later agreed to turn in the weapons in return for medical assistance.
JALALABAD AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, Aug. 4, 2005 Afghans from the Sarur Village, Dari Nur District, Nangarhar Province, came forward to turn in a weapons cache, July 26, to Whiskey Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, currently serving in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. My job is to recover illegal weapons by any means available. Sometimes we have to use force, but sometimes, luckily, the villagers in the area will come forward to let us know about them, said U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Javier Torres, Whiskey company commander, from Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico. Were the first outsiders these people have seen since they were invaded by the Russians, so its important for us to build trust. We didnt come in and search all the houses because they showed us the weapons cache, and we want them to trust us so theyll come forward again.
The villagers at first wanted the Marine Corps to pay $500 for the weapons before they would reveal the location, but after some easy negotiating, they agreed to give up the site in return for medical assistance.
"We have no medicine or schools, so for Marines to bring us help is a great thing."
Afghan village elder
At an elevation of 4,400 feet, the village is situated between mountains and takes more than four hours to reach by foot. The trail leading to the village is inaccessible by vehicle and starts at 1,300 feet. Due to the isolated location, basic medical care is unavailable. To seek treatment, the villagers must first make a three hour hike down to the nearest road then travel to a nearby city.
Its amazing people live up here. At one point the trail we took had a sheer cliff drop off on one side. This is one of the hardest hikes Ive ever done, said Lance Cpl. Joshua Britner, motarman, from Freemont, Ohio.
The isolated villages are perfect locations for storing munitions. Without local help, the caches would never be found. After recovering the munitions, the problem of getting the cache down the mountain surfaced. The only workable solution was to employ the use of mules to carry the munitions back down.
We are very happy to help; with the cooperation of the (Afghan National Army), we are glad the Marines are here. They bring peace and security. We want to cooperate and will help look for more weapons, said a village elder through the interpreter Sayed Noorullah. We have no medicine or schools, so for Marines to bring us help is a great thing.
How many of these damn weapons caches are there? Seems like it never ends.
Disarming the bad guys ~ Bump!