Photo by Sybil Holland




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Corporal William Seo on Fox News

July 2, 2011

Tags: Chaplains in MMG, Humanitarian missions

One of the stories in Miracles and Moments of Grace comes from Chaplain Steve Satterfield and Corporal William Seo. It's a very fun story of how CPL Seo convinced the actor Gary Sinise to come to Afghanistan to hand out school supplies with him to local schoolchildren.

Sinise has long been known for his dedication to our troops and the countries in which they are deployed. He and author Laura Hillenbrand (Seabiscuit, Unbroken) co-founded a nonprofit, Operation International Children, and he entertains troops with his Lt. Dan Band.

Yesterday, Fox News ran a segment on Sinise's new organization, The Gary Sinise Foundation, that will focus on military families and veterans in particular. In part of the segment, you can see Corporal Seo with Sinise, side by side.

For his part, CPL Seo started a nonprofit of his own, first called Project Help Afghanistan and now HEMEfund.org. It is geared toward providing housing, education, medical and employment assistance to communities like those CPL Seo saw in Afganistan -- communities of poor families with no hope of supporting themselves. CPL Seo and his colleagues provide literacy classes, sewing machines and many other means of assistance to help people improve their lives.

Stop over at CPL Seo's website and see what you might want to do to help him out!

What military folks do in their down times

October 27, 2010

Tags: Chaplains in MMG, Humanitarian missions

SPC William Seo of Project Help Afghanistan flanked by colleagues
In a recent column, Nicholas Kristof makes a case for decreasing troop size in Afghanistan in favor of increasing educational and development initiatives. In this debate, I would hate for the humanitarian efforts of our military to go unnoticed.

Over the past year, as I interviewed military chaplains for my forthcoming book, Miracles and Moments of Grace, (Leafwood, March 2011), I began sending boxes of goodies to my chaplains to share with their troops. On more than one occasion, the chaplain asked that I instead send boxes of school supplies to distribute to impoverished local schools and orphanages.

One young medic, SPC William Seo, was so disturbed by the poverty he saw around him that he started a charity, Project Help Afghanistan, that not only distributes boxes of school supplies, but also offers literacy classes and skills training for women so they can support themselves.

In their down times, our deployed military personnel are doing what they can to assist those in need. Their natural compassion is channeled into the kinds of activities that Kristof would like to see. Of course, I want to see every American serviceman and woman home safely and home soon. But while deployed, these men and women are building bridges of peace and future prosperity.