War on Terrorism

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Afghan, Coalition Forces Deliver Toys in 'Operation Bernice'


By Staff Sgt. Erin Tallman, USAF
Special to American Forces Press Service

Dec. 20, 2007 - in Angurdarrah and Gadaykhel on Dec. 18 in an operation named for an Army major's childhood toy.
Army Maj. Jeremy McGuire, team leader of the Kohe Safi Police Mentor Team, recalled a stuffed animal that his aunt, Marcy Grace Kelley, gave him when he was 5. He named the toy Bernice.

So when Aunt Marcy donated 200 stuffed animals to hand out to Afghan children, McGuire named the mission to deliver the toys to two remote villages "Operation Bernice."

"Operation Bernice, to me, shows how the coalition forces, the (Afghan National
Police), government leaders of Kohe Safi, and people in the United States can work together ... to help the people of Afghanistan, and demonstrate how the government is available to answer the people's grievances," McGuire said.

McGuire and his team will make multiple visits with the people of Kohe Safi throughout the rest of December.

After New Year's Day, Bagram Provincial Reconstruction Team members will conduct a four-day medical engagement to northern Kohe Safi villages they visited during Operation Bernice.

The drop went well, and the presence of girls was a great sign, McGuire said. "Typically, in this area we have had a low female turnout for medical engagements. Operation Bernice gave us an insight that they may be very receptive to the medical engagement the Afghan government and doctors will be executing in January."

(
Air Force Staff Sgt. Erin Tallman is assigned to Combined Joint Task Force 82 Public Affairs.)

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