The Conversation

Writing a Better Story in Afghanistan (video)

Posted with permission from Brigadier General John E. Michel, USAF - Commanding General, NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan; Commander, 438 Air Expeditionary Wing

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” Philip Pullman

As you likely have all heard me say since my arrival, human beings are moved by stories. Stories stir the soul, ignite the imagination and engage our hearts and minds in a way no other medium can. 

    The main way we learn story is not through movies or books; it’s through each other. We become like the people we routinely interact with.  

    Our mission here in Afghanistan is unique in that every day, we interact with our Afghan partners for one primary reason: To help them create a better story. We serve alongside men and women who hope for a better, brighter future for themselves, their families and their country. And they look to each of us to set an example worth emulating.

   What a privilege.

   What a great story.

    The associated links below to Facebook and YouTube provide the first in a series of video short stories we will begin sharing with the world to detail our unique and important mission. It’s a story of a team of people working diligently far from the limelight in support of a noble cause; a team of people trying to do their small part to help move a nation beyond its current challenges, so that its citizens can enjoy a life of greater meaning, purpose and abundance. It’s a story about YOU, serving shoulder to shoulder with brave Afghan warriors, giving our all to write a better story.

    History reminds us that the reason world-changers like Martin Luther King,  Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Theresa all lived great stories is because they, and the rest of the world, knew exactly what they wanted. King wanted racial equality, Gandhi wanted liberation from oppression and Mother Theresa wanted dignity for the poor.

   We too are clear on what we want: To set the conditions for a professional, fully independent and operationally-capable Afghan Air Force that meets the security requirements of Afghanistan today…and tomorrow. Thanks for what each of you do each and every day to help make this story an emerging reality. Now please share these links broadly with anyone and everyone you know.

   Show them you are part of writing a better story here in Afghanistan.

In Service,

JOHN E. MICHEL, Brig Gen, USAF 
Commanding General, NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan;
Commander, 438th Air Expeditionary Wing


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