Mission has not changed for Valley group supporting troops

FRESNO, Calif.

In February of 2004 the Brotherhood of the Badge first met with Iraqi police officers eager to use the Fresno P.D.'s surplus police gear.

The news that most American combat troops are headed home from Iraq brings a smile to the face of this Fresno Police Officer. It was F.P.D. Sergeant Mike Harris' idea to equip Iraqi cops with safety gear so they could eventually police their own country. And he says that job isn't over, not yet. "Our mission hasn't changed any; we're just going to shift border lines and countries."

In Afghanistan there are upwards of 90-thousand service members at war. Volunteers that met military recruiting goals year after year.

"Sufficient numbers of men and women are choosing to serve. We're very proud of our recruits and those coming forward to enlist," said Sgt. Douglas Smith.

Smith told us they credit patriotism for the continuing numbers of enlistees. "That service to country factor can't be underestimated."

And all those enlistees are reasons for the Brother Hood of the Badge to continue its mission until all American forces come home from Afghanistan.

Harris said, "We expect to take one more mission to that country to assess how it's going with the equipment we've have already put in there and what their immediate needs are."

The Brotherhood of the Badge he adds will keep up its volunteer work until all the volunteer service members in uniform come home for good.

"We have probably have enough equipment on hand to outfit between 14-hundred to 15-hundred police officers in Afghanistan," said Harris.

That gear is expected to be delivered this fall.

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