• Audra A. Russell

A U.S. Army General who should inspire all of us.


"Everything went black." General Maney, U.S. Army (Retired), describes as his vehicle was blown up in a road bomb while serving in Afghanistan, becoming the highest ranking officer in the war to be injured.

"Here Gen. Maney was — brain injured, but still so determined to get the medical unit for the street kids in Afghanistan," she said. "Those kids inspired him to keep trying, and he inspired me." -Ms. Peggie Murray, Humanitarian Assistance officer at U.S. Central Command in Tampa, FL.

(Tampa Bay Times: "Sent home after injury, an Army Reserve general still helps Afghan schoolchildren".)

He narrowly escaped death. His recovery was long, but his will to serve even longer. He has not forgotten the the children in a refugee camp.


WHY WORK AROUND THE WORLD?

General Maney should serve as a beacon to the rest of us.


When you see an abundance of resources in one area of the world, and other areas where kids go to school with one shoe (in the snow), as General Many explains - it's an imbalance. ​


It's not about "do good" "feel good" work. It's a responsibility to our global community.


“This is not about doing good. It’s about doing good work,” says Tom Keefe, Founder of IMEC.



U.S. MILITARY GENERALS, and ADMIRAL: LEADERS WHO INSPIRE

When action and compassion speak volumes:


-General Maney, U.S. Army Reserve Brigadier General and his wife, Caroline. He was Deputy Commander of the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command when he deployed to Afghanistan.

-General Myers, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and his wife, Mary Jo with Aschiana Foundation.

-General Bradley, former Commander U.S. Air Force Reserve Command and his wife, Jan with their own Lamia Foundation.


Collectively, they inspire and touch children's lives in places such as Afghanistan. They have seen the need(s) and have taken action through their individual foundations, projects, and initiatives (see below).


General and Mrs. Bradley, for example, have sent 80 C-17s airlift missions by way of U.S. Air Force under the Denton Amendment to Afghanistan alone, in addition to building schools, equipping clinics, and more. Prior to sending humanitarian airlift missions via U.S. military aircraft, he commanded the entire U.S. Air Force Reserves.


Admiral/Senator Denton inspired each of us. His perseverance to see a better world, through his international Humanitarian & Peacekeeping initiatives, National Security, and love of his country and God inspired many.



WHY DOES IT MATTER?

On a small scale, it's personal. General Maney and his wife, Caroline, were the first people we met upon expanding civil-military humanitarian programs with Admiral Denton, who held him in the highest regard.


When you watch the local Channel 3 WEAR news in Pensacola, FL and see this long-time friend being described in the news as having been blown up by an IED, suffering traumatic brain injury - you don't forget that moment. Then, on CNN and other television channels announce he becomes the highest ranking officer to be injured in the Afghan war at the time


I know what I saw and felt. I can't imagine what his family felt. Or any of the others who go through the horrific aspect of war. ​

On a global scale, we're part of a larger world. We can stay removed from children and families in other places. Yet, images from Syria or refugee camps in Afghanistan to hurricane victims in Haiti enter our space via our tv, computer, and phone screens, our global family becomes more clear and connected.


General Maney didn't use screens to see the images of the children. They were clear in his memory, despite the brain injury. He typed emails from his hospital bed to follow up on the mobile medical unit he requested via U.S. Central Command before he was blown up to benefit the children he had visited in Afghanistan.


General Maney was the Deputy Commander of the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations headquartered at Ft. Bragg, NC. Civil Affairs teams are the primary interface between the military and civilian community and their reach is global.


To see Civil Affairs teams in operation is not like anything you would see on TV. It's far more interesting.


I've witnessed the impact made when a U.S. military team visits a rural community, engages with the local leaders, teachers, families, and kids who will benefit from the construction of schools, clinics, community centers.


The impact is positive, and long term - especially, in young children.


The relationships built over years, combined with genuine concern - put forth into action - remains in the hearts and minds of those at the receiving end. Diplomacy matters.



IMPACT: U.S. MILITARY / CIVILIAN INTERACE

General Maney and General Bradley can probably fill a book on this subject. ​ Their careers while serving in U.S. military, and upon retirement create a window of stories that reach around the world.


Although General Maney had to retire from the U.S. Army Reserves, he returned to the bench and continues to serve as a Judge in Ft. Walton Beach, FL after a long and difficult recovery from the explosion.


Ms. Peggie Murray, U.S. Central Command, Humanitarian Assistance officer. perhaps says it best in her article about General Maney in the Tampa Bay Times: "Those kids inspired him to keep trying, and he inspired me." -


General Maney should inspire many.


SUGGESTED READING:

On General and Mrs. Maney:

Tampa Bay Times: "Sent home after injury, an Army Reserve general still helps Afghan schoolchildren"

On Mrs. Mary Jo Myers and Aschiana:

Washington Post mentions Aschiana: "Afghanistan’s quietly forceful first lady"

"I look forward to a time where all the people of the world strive for children’s well being.

With the expectation that all the leaders of the world strive for the creation of worldwide peace and harm free environments for all children without biases of race, language, religion, nationality, region, political and economical thoughts." -Director of Aschiana / Afghanistan.

On General and Mrs. Bradley:

The Christian Chronicle: "Afghan girl touched general's heart, inspired action"

AirforceMag.com: "Lamia Foundation: A Mom and Pop Nonprofit" by Lyndsey Akers

INSIDE AFGHANISTAN

A perspective from someone who lived there:

New York Times: ' An Attack on Afghanistan's Future' by Lael Mohib

"The university is a microcosm of the Afghanistan the next generation wants to live in — a place where people debate their differences instead of fight over them, where diversity is respected, and tolerance and understanding are freely expressed. These are the values of a healthy, secure society, which Afghanistan is working so hard to become." -Lael Mohib, Director of the Enabled Children Initiative and the former chief of staff at the American University of Afghanistan.

Read about More Inspiring Individuals Here.

#USMilitary #Humanitarian #International #Afghanistan #NGOUSMilitaryrelationship #MilitaryLeadership

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