Valley Group Expands Mission in War on Terror

February 10, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Many of the security forces in Iraq are better protected today because of a group of concerned valley citizens, who are arming them with used police gear.A valley group is expanding its mission to help the security forces trying to take control of the countries involved in the war on terrorism.

The Brotherhood of the Badge is now also taking the mission into Afghanistan

Brotherhood of the Badge is just getting their feet back on U.S. soil and already planning another trip back to Afghanistan.

This was their 5th trip overseas and already the group has identified a larger need for protective equipment in the Afghan region.

Ken Shockley is a Fresno Fire Department official but on the side he's a member of Brotherhood of the Badge, a Fresno non-profit group that provides necessary equipment to fellow officers in countries at war.

"There's a bond that goes past public safety that just when you get there it becomes one human being helping another," says Shockley.

Shockley and three other Fresno officials donated $80,000 worth of bullet proof vests, portable radios and flash lights to the Afghan national police. "They want to be able to protect themselves from terrorists and then take care of their families."

In a country that's struggling to maintain its first democratic government yet under constant attack by the Taliban, Shockley says Afghan nationals have a strong work ethic and desire to protect its people.

"They're going to be free, independent. That bullies like the Taliban aren't going to be able to come in and scare people," says Shockley.

Shockley and his partners received gifts from local police officials as well as the U.S. military for their service.

Brotherhood of the Badge's main goal is to speed stability within the Afghan region so American soldiers can come home sooner.

He says "Anybody who says it's pointless is mistaken. There is a lot of hope in Afghanistan and there's a point to us being there."

Shockley says there are roughly 500 firefighters in all of Afghanistan. He plans to develop a fire-fighter mentor program to teach the basics of putting out fires and saving lives.


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