Dropping the Ball
9 May 2007
Hello OSC fans! Today turned out to be a wonderful day for flying and an even better day for dropping soccer balls! It was a busy day yesterday at work. When I got back into my office in the evening I found that there was a package waiting for me. It was a box full of balls and some candy. I also had a ticket from the Post Office saying that I had to sign for another box. The office to sign for my package was closed until the next morning so I waited until the next day to pick it up. The next morning, I was pleasantly surprised to find another box full of balls. The timing worked out great because I was going to be flying later that day and I would be paired up with another crew and their helicopter, so I hoped to get some good photos. I gave the other crew the balls and we set out to fly our mission.
Our ball drop wouldn’t take place until sometime after lunch since our mission was going to take up the bulk of the morning. After we had spent a few hours picking up and dropping off passengers, we finally had time for another soccer drop. On this trip we had a few volleyballs and soccer balls mixed together. We flew our two helicopters to an area that we knew was away from the built up areas of the larger city. The lead helicopter spotted a group of kids playing near the wadi and began their approach. As they maneuvered closer to the kids, the crew chief held out the ball and got ready to drop.
The word of the ball drops must be making its way around the area because even with the rotor downwash they were producing, the kids still waved and called out for the crew to drop the ball. One by one the balls were dropped to the kids jumping and waving below. It was a joy to see this entire event unfold before us. Kids were running left and right trying to anticipate where the next ball was going to fall. What a wonderful sight to see so many kids enjoying the fallen balls. It didn’t matter if it was a volleyball or a soccer ball.
I think the impact of the gifts you all are sending will have a long term positive influence on the attitudes and perceptions that the local Afghan population has on the United States. You are all doing such a wonderful job at being so generous and caring for those you don’t know. One of the greatest life lessons my father taught me was that “There’s always room”. When I was a little boy, before seat belt laws were enforced, my dad would pack an entire youth basketball team into our tiny station wagon. If there was one more person that needed a ride my dad would tell him to get in the car. “There’s always room” he’d say. We would all pile into that small car and make our way to the basketball game. My dad’s lesson was one of charity and generosity. How lucky are the kids of this area to look up and see all of these wonderful volleyballs and soccer balls falling from the sky? Your charity and generosity have truly blessed the people of this land so very far away.
It is wonderful to see the life lesson my dad taught to me is also being practiced by so many others out there. Thank you for the smiles on the faces of these children. How I wish you could all be here to see the excitement in the faces of these young ones firsthand. Thank you everyone! I’m looking forward to the packages that are being sent. I can’t wait until the next Operation Soccer Chopper drop!