Sunday, August 01, 2010

First LAR-COP Castle

Photos/Story by Cpl. Eugenio Montanez COMBAT OUTPOST CASTLE, Afghanistan – With the help from Marines of 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Afghans are improving their living conditions.

Marines with 3rd Civil Affairs Group attached to 1st LAR Bn. arrived here three months ago and wasted no time getting to work.

One of the first projects is a health clinic to provide the villagers with better medical treatment. The old clinic was little more than a room with scant medical supplies and no services for women.

“We want to be able to provide these people with the medical supplies they need,” said Lance Cpl. Jose Campos, a civil affairs Marine with 3rd CAG, 1st LAR Bn. “To receive treatment is one of the biggest worries of the villagers. With this facility they won’t have to worry about that anymore.”

The clinic is a big step for the local villagers, but is not the only problem the civil affairs’ Marines are working on.

“The children around here love going to school,” said Lance Cpl. Oscar Roman, a civil affairs Marine with 3rd CAG, 1st LAR Bn. “They always ask me for pens, pencils and paper. They’d rather have school supplies instead of candy.”

The current facility is too small for all children to attend and is only open four hours a day. With the new classroom more children will be able to attend class.

There will be many discussions as locals plan for the future of their children and the security of their area. The Marine's plans include a Shura Hall for the farmers to resolve questions and a new district center for village meetings with the district governor and mayor.

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