Published Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Soldier serving in Afghanistan offers his thanks

As I enter the fifth month of my deployment to Kandahar Airfield, the weather has grown cold and wet, often leaving our base a muddy mess.

Although it was difficult for many of us to spend yet another Christmas away from our families and friends, it was comforting to be surrounded by my fellow soldiers and the many civilians who work by our side. In addition, the continued expressions of support from churches, civic organizations and groups like the USO made the Christmas season much more bearable.

I owe a special thanks to my family and friends in Newnan, especially the members of Central Baptist Church who have gone out of their way to support me and my family during this time. I will never forget their kindness.

As for my deployment, my comrades and I are assigned to the Third Infantry Division Headquarters, which is currently the unit responsible for International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Regional Command-South (RC-S), in Southern Afghanistan.

A large portion of our mission is to help the Afghan people and security forces function with full independence. Our focus is on strengthening the Afghan government and restoring faith and credibility in the country. This will not only help provide support and good governance to the Afghan people but will ensure they can fight the Taliban insurgency and prevent Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for terrorist groups such as al Qaeda.

As I’m sure most of you can imagine, these tasks can be difficult, and we are sure to face many challenges in these endeavors over the coming year. However, with the support and prayers from the American people, I am confident we will be successful in our mission. Thank you for supporting the troops, and Happy New Year.

Major James W. Welch, Newnan

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