SAMANGAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- As the war in Afghanistan continues, more and more of the country?s natives are volunteering to serve.
Among those who have pledged to defend Afghanistan with their lives for the greater good of the people is 2nd Lt. John Muhammad.
Muhammad serves as a platoon commander and explosive ordnance disposal officer in the 215th Corps of the Afghan National Army. Serving as an EOD officer, the two-year soldier calls Samangan province home, which he left to fight for those he loves.
?I like the Army,? said Muhammad. ?I get to serve for my family and do my part to create a better nation for the future.
?That?s what I joined for,? added Muhammad. ?Afghanistan is my country. I want to help my country.?
Born in Afghanistan, Muhammad has the experience of living under a Taliban regime. He has seen the nation at its low points and high points his last 30 years of life.
?We have been fighting in Afghanistan for more than 30 years,? said Muhammad. ?Before recently, nobody went to school, everyone was at home in the villages. The Taliban made sure of it.?
As the Afghan forces and government continue to grow, Muhammad has visible signs of improvement etched in his memory.
?Now things are changing,? said Muhammad. ?People are going to school, people are joining the Army.?
Muhammad?s ultimate goal for his country is for it to resemble the peace and free way of living most other countries enjoy. He feels the better things become, the closer Afghanistan is to achieving his dream, he said.
?We want Afghanistan to look like your country,? said Muhammad, referring to America. ?We don?t want to fight, we don?t want war. We want peace for our people. We don?t want the Taliban in our country.
?We want to finish the fighting and finish the war,? added Muhammad. ?We want our country to move in a positive direction and begin to prosper.??
With soldiers as dedicated and driven to improve their country as Muhammad, one can only see Afghanistan becoming a far better place as time progresses.