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NEWS | Nov. 17, 2012

A Lasting Impact

By Capt. Daniel Van Horn Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office

A small group of soldiers from Charlie Battery 2-138th Field Artillery Regiment out of Bardstown, Ky., have the distinct privilege of serving in one of the most beautiful and mountainous countries in Africa. It is the American equivalent to Colorado and Kentucky could fit into its borders nearly 11 times.

To give you another comparison the highest mountain in Ethiopia is taller than Colorado’s highest mountain by 495 feet at 14,928 feet. The average temperature in Ethiopia is 61 degrees and the average rainfall is 42.9 inches of rain per year; Kentucky receives 51.3 inches of rain and has an average temperature of 56 degrees. However, Ethiopia’s incredible beauty and mountainous terrain make some towns and villages very isolated. This was demonstrated very clearly on a recent mission distributing malaria nets with the Navy Seabees and Civil Affairs teams where villagers informed us we were the first white people some of them had ever seen!

Ethiopians are very friendly and their language, although complicated at first, has a distinct flow and rhythm to it that makes it fun to learn. Their culture is a unique blend of Arabic, and African influences with cities that have been in existence long before the pyramids of Egypt. The mission in Ethiopia is important and we are grateful to their Government for allowing us to partner with them in providing new well constructions, veterinary services, and malaria prevention equipment.

In return, our soldiers will always cherish their time spent in Ethiopia and the impact so few made on so many.

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