Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Internally Displaced Persons Camp

While members of TF Wildhorse were returning from a combat patrol they stumbled upon a large camp occupied by hundreds of Afghan children and adults. The camp was a "shanty town", composed mostly of wooden poles and cloth shelters. After stopping to investigate further, the soldiers noticed that the people appeared to be very tired and thirsty. SSG Anderson Munoz, the patrol squad leader later said "The people looked so thirsty and we felt so bad for them. We gave them everything we had, right down to the last Gatorade. We had just enough water left to make it back to base." About two days later the patrol returned to the camp and delivered humanitarian aid and water to the people. It was then learned that the people were displaced persons from another village from within Laghman province. Either by fear or mistrust, the people would not discuss the reason for the displacement. The camp elders told the soldiers that they had to walk to the nearest city, Mehtar Lam, to buy water and food. Right now the Squadron is looking at the feasibility of building a well in the camp and plans to establish a closer relationship with the people there throughout the deployment. We are also in the process of determining the reason for the displacement.