The Catoctin Banner. | Thurmont New Home to Afghan Soldier Who Saved American Lives

Lisa C. Cantwell

Thurmont has been residence to many a battle hero, previous and current.  The city has additionally been a protected place for immigrants, refugees, and people searching for a protected, pleasant neighborhood through which to boost a household. One of Thurmont’s latest residents is just not solely an immigrant and refugee, but additionally a battle hero, who’s credited with saving the lives of American troopers through the battle in Afghanistan.

This new neighbor goes by the title “Amana.” She is a petite and, at first look, unassuming lady, who’s pleased to buy, work, and lift her household in our quiet mountainside neighborhood. But assumptions apart, she is a courageous lady with army abilities who straight supported U.S. Special Operations Forces as a Captain within the All-Female Tactical Platoon (FTP). Her 39-member platoon’s mission included looking down and capturing Taliban and terrorist combatants needed by the U.S. and Afghan Defense forces. She and her household’s story is one in all nice threat, survival, heroism, and supreme rescue from war-torn Afghanistan. 

The journey from her native nation to the United States included her two teenage daughters, Maryam and Omulbanin, or “Omul” for brief. They have lived in Thurmont for a number of weeks. Both of the ladies are enrolled at Catoctin High and Thurmont Middle School, respectively, and in keeping with Maryam, who speaks English, have been “warmly welcomed” by college students and lecturers, alike.

Omul is happy that she has met one other Afghan buddy who attends her faculty. Both ladies declare math as their favourite topic, with Maryam liking psychology, too.

Amana is at present enrolled in English language class at Frederick Community College (FCC). She is at present working at an area eatery and hopes to return to a profession serving the U.S. army, as soon as fluent in her new language. She says she and her ladies really feel very protected in Thurmont. They are having fun with strolls within the park, bicycling, and journeys to the grocery retailer and library. This is a outstanding growth, for inside present Afghan tradition, females should have a male escort.

When requested how she got here to serve alongside U.S. armed forces in Afghanistan, Amana reminisced  about how she got here to help U.S. armed forces with a sparkle in her eyes. “At the end of 2011, while still a high school student, I saw a television commercial advertising for the Female Tactical Platoon (FTP). I applied, and after 10 months of training, I became a soldier involved with American soldiers in internal defense operations.” Amana and the FTP troopers have been educated to U.S. requirements in weaponry, counter-IED experience, navigation, medical abilities, and tactical workout routines. With over 2,000 missions carried out between 2011-2021, these Afghan girls troopers not solely assisted U.S. Army Special Ops, but additionally Navy Seals, Green Berets, and Army Rangers. Additionally, Amana served as an teacher, coaching feminine police on the U.S.-led Afghan National Police Center.

Toward the collapse of the as soon as democratic Afghan authorities, earlier than the approaching Taliban takeover, Amana needed to give up her job and turn out to be a instructor. It was too harmful to proceed as a soldier and policewoman. She finally needed to depart her residence in Mazar-e-Shariff and transfer her daughters to Kabul to plan their departure from Afghanistan. Her life was in grave hazard because of her shut affiliation with the U.S. army.

On the final day earlier than the Taliban takeover, Amana’s American feminine counterparts, referred to as the Cultural Support Team (CST), helped her and her ladies get to the airport and board one of many first U.S. planes to exit Afghanistan. In truth, all 39 members of the Afghan Female Tactical Platoon (FTP) have been efficiently evacuated because of the efforts of the CST. 

What adopted their departure was a whirlwind of airports, nations, and refugee camps.  Amana and her ladies spent 36 hours in Qatar, 4 days in Germany, 4 days in D.C., six weeks at Quantico, and 5 months in Atlantic City, earlier than lastly discovering a house in Thurmont. The non-profit reduction group, Samaritan’s Purse, positioned them within the care of a gaggle from Grace Community Church of Frederick. Members, David and Kathy Afzali and Charlie and Diane Powers, took 12 programs, quite a few written assessments, and handed all vetting necessities of the non-profit to turn out to be sponsors of this refugee household. Samaritan’s Purse continues to assist Amana and her household in partnership with these sponsors to make sure a profitable transition to life within the United States. 

Although she misses her household that stay in Afghanistan, Amana is longing for the longer term, emphasizing once more her want to work for the U.S. army meaning a lot to her. For the time being, she and her daughters are contented to be in Thurmont and protected eventually, in a spot they will really name “home.” 

For extra data on refugee sponsorship, verify www.samaritanspurse.org.

To learn extra concerning the FTP, check with www.politico.com “The Untold Story of the Afghan Women Who Hunted the Taliban” 4/8/2022.

For extra details about the CST, seek the advice of www.sistersofservice.org.

Amana pictured in Thurmont with two new bicycles offered for her daughters by a beneficiant donor.

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