SANGIN, Afghanistan -- While one of the Sangin police officers is new to the area, he’s not new to the force and says he’s ready to use his abilities to help his people anywhere in Helmand province.
Gulabshaw, an Afghan National Police officer posted in Sangin, is willing to travel anywhere to provide security for the Afghan people. He is from Garmser but has recently followed his previous police chief to Sangin where the operations conducted are much more kinetic.
“We should go where we are needed whenever told to help the people of Afghanistan because they deserve peace,” said Gulabshaw. “I worked with the new chief of police here in Garmser district and he asked me to come with him to help the people in Sangin.”
Patriotic duty runs deep throughout Gulabshaw’s ideas not only because of his devotion to his country but also because he lost two of his brothers in incidents involving improvised explosive devices. He stayed in Garmser for the first two years after becoming a police officer to be close to his family.
“My family, especially my parents, were happy and even encouraged me to join the ANP,” said Gulabshaw. “It makes me happy for them to be so proud of me for the work that I am doing.”
The ANP officer will be able to see his family after what is basically a sixth-month deployment to Sangin. The struggles that many service members face while deployed he’s coming to understand, but those things do not bother him.
“One thing is very clear for me, I will remember it forever, Marines came from so far away to help the people of Afghanistan. Why shouldn’t I do it when this is my country and my people,” said Gulabshaw.
Commitment doesn’t end with providing security for this officer. During his time in Garmser he actively pursued opportunities to further his education through sources that were easily available and some that were unconventional. The police mentor team in Garmser had a literacy class set up for the officers to attend, teaching them how to read and write Pashtu, but Gulabshaw went to the next level and worked with the Marines with the PMT to start learning English.
“If I can learn a lot of different languages, I will be able to solve problems that some people don’t have the skills to do,” he said.
The skills Gulabshaw is learning during his time in the ANP will help him to reach his goals, which are set much higher than most people would imagine for a farm boy from Garmser.
“I’m happy to be in Sangin, but I really hope I pick up more rank and my dream is to one day become a district governor,” Gulabshaw said. “If I can do this I will be able to build clinics, hospitals, schools and provide other things the people of Afghanistan deserve to have.”