Devon interviews Corporal Sean Stephens (Arizona National Guard)

Devon interviews Corporal Sean Stephens (Arizona National Guard)

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Hey, a friend, Devon, who's nine, interviewed Sean about his experiences in Afghanistan, and here's a few excerpts. Sean's now working as the Veteran’s Service Officer for the county of Marin.

1 What does it mean to be “embedded” with the Afghan border police?

It means you live, sleep, and eat with them so you become one of them. There were about 200 Afghan border policemen and only 12 of us Americans. We had a lot of breaks for Chi, which is a type of very sweet tea.

 

 

2 What were some of the dangers you faced?

You could never tell who your enemy was because they didn’t wear any type of uniform. They looked just like everyone else and sometimes, for religious reasons, the Afghan border police wouldn’t wear a uniform either. They would come walking up to talk to us and we were not even sure if they were one of the good guys or bad guys. So you had to give the guy a chance to approach you to figure out if it is a friend or an enemy. Also we ended up having to walk or ride motorcycles a lot because our big trucks couldn’t handle the narrow mountain passes. That’s dangerous because we have less protection from an IED, an improvised explosive device. One time the motorcycle in front of me set off an IED but I didn’t get hurt because I was far enough back.

3 What is the most or least hopeful thing you saw there?

The most hopeful thing was seeing new schools get built. You are in fourth grade, so you’ve had a few years to learn how to read, to do math and basically how to think for yourself and solve problems. That’s what the Afghani children didn’t have before now because they grew up in a time when there were no schools. By letting them go to school we gave them the opportunity to do things for themselves and to grow as a country.

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