US military and Catholic Charities Atlanta help Afghan refugees


This is a letter sent by Carol Megathlin, a writer living in Athens, Georgia.

If you prepare before turning on the morning news, you’re not alone. One calamity closely follows another, or worse, they accumulate. Hurricanes, floods, forest fires, earthquakes, outbreaks of COVID-19, the heart-wrenching exodus from Afghanistan, then we relive the horrors of 9/11.

It’s disheartening at best. But what can a person do to make things better?

With the situation in Afghanistan, I wanted to do something concrete.

Staff Sgt.  Hamadi Diop, assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Field Artillery Brigade, plays with Afghan children at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, September 4, 2021 while supporting Operation Allies Refuge.  150 soldiers from 1-6 FAR were deployed to Ramstein to help support the evacuees by providing meals, water and sanitation services.

More opinions from Afghanistan:Afghanistan had a bright future – before the arrival of the Russians, the Taliban and 9/11

Enter the United States Army. Tens of thousands of Afghan refugees are fed, accommodated and treated at eight military installations across the United States. After hearing this, I contacted Randy Odom, the officer responsible for the engagement of the US military at the Pentagon.

I asked him how the average person can help the frightened and disoriented refugees who flock to our country.

Randy referred me to Vanessa Russell, CEO of Catholic Charities Atlanta. She and her crew work closely with the military to provide basic necessities to arriving Afghans.

In a recent email, Vanessa said: “I was heartbroken to hear reports of children arriving at bases receiving evacuees without shoes. We are very proud to have the opportunity to help these evacuees and appreciate any help we can get. “

She asked me to find people who will donate children’s shoes, new or slightly used, to the Afghan children who arrive barefoot. Shoes are required for children 2-12 years old.

More opinions from Afghanistan:The end of the war is a failure of political leadership, not of those who fought

Carol Megathlin

As the old saying goes: “Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” “

These are dark times, there are no two ways to do it. We are all on this life journey together and need to help each other along the way.

If you want, email me at I will provide you with the address for sending shoes to Catholic Charities in Atlanta.

We call our project “Supporting Afghan Refugees” or STAR. A single star provides little illumination, but a multitude of them can light the way as the dispossessed stumble to new life.


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