Monday, July 11, 2005

News from Afghanistan - Part 3

In an earlier email to me, my wife's niece was wondering if I could round up some used eyeglasses to send her - she said that the village elders they treated often were unable to see well. I told her I'd try and began to contact organizations, including the Lions Club, to see if I could get a shipment organized for her. I made some progress, but the project has been called off. Here is her latest email to me;
Hey Uncle Ted!

I am so sorry it has taken me forever to get back with you. I just got back from another mission. So, I think the eye glasses issue is dead in the water. They feel that giving some of the elders eye glasses is a bad idea. The higher command thinks it's a risk because if they still have loyalty to the Taliban or Al Qaida, giving them eye glasses will help them see better and make us easier targets.

I can see the logic in that one but I think the reasoning is a little weak. The other issue was since we don't have someone to assess their vision, the "trial and error" methodology to find a prescription would be too time consuming during a MEDCAP.

I'm sorry for wasting all of your time looking for an organization. I really appreciate that you were willing to help, but I just can't get the support behind me for this one.

Thanks again Uncle Ted!

I agree that "the reasoning is a little weak". It seems to be a very odd way to "win hearts and minds." I'm not a military guy and I'm not on the ground there, so of course must defer to their decision. But it's frustrating being unable to help in this situation.

But I've found another way to help out troops overseas - this the subject of a future entry.

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