THE FOURTH OF SIX VETERANS HONORED AT THE HONOR FLIGHT BREAKFAST ON MAY 14, 2016
Major Steve McAlpin served with the U.S. Army and deployed to Bosnia in 1996 as part of a NATO peacekeeping force and tasked with negotiating on behalf of the Bosnian Muslims, Catholics and Serbians.
In 2002 he deployed to Afghanistan to work as a liaison between the Army and the local population. He met with the local religious leaders and mayors to learn what they needed most. They told him of a school where many of the teachers had either been executed or escaped to Pakistan.
The students were sitting on bare concrete, with no windows, no doors, and no roof. Steve asked if he could begin teaching English hoping to seize the opportunity to change the negative perception while the Taliban wandered the streets. He asked to bring in a map of the United States to explain the relative positions of the US and Afghanistan in the world. He was told “No, a globe would be better so they could understand the world isn’t flat.”
Steve’s painting, WINDOWS OF OPPORTUNITY depicts life in Afghanistan with the original now on permanent display at the George W. Bush presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, Texas.
His story appears in the new publication of National Geographic’s book Veteran’s Voices, a copy of which was donated and placed on the Silent Auction table. You can also find Steve’s beautiful customized walking canes for veterans by visiting www.CanesForCourage.com
~ Jenny La Sala
Author, Contributor and Editor