Image courtesy: U.S. Army
Sgt. Maj. Jean Chouloute has spent the last five months in Kabul, Afghanistan, making sure the ISAF Joint Operations Center is safe and secure. Yet his tour in the war zone is wrapping up quicker than expected, so he can head to Haiti to help his native land.
Navy Chief Petty Officer Craig Strawser interviewed Chouloute about his upcoming mission, which is very close to his heart. The soldier was born in Port-au-Prince, and the article says he lived in Saint Marc until moving to the United States at age 11. His loved ones in Haiti are safe, but an entire family living next door was killed in the earthquake.
Chouloute thinks serving as a translator and using his experience in Afghanistan will be very valuable to the relief effort.
"We will show the people of Haiti what the U.S. military and the U.S. people are all about," he said. "It's important for me to do this on a couple different fronts. I am helping to show the diversity of the Army, and I will be able to help serve as a bridge between the folks who need help and those who are going there to help. I know the culture, language, area, and people."
Other Haitian-American troops like Lt. Ramses Brunache, who is also serving in Afghanistan, are waiting for their transfer requests to be approved by superior officers. While leaving one of the world's most dangerous countries to deploy to another may not seem appealing on the surface, the dedication of these soldiers to spreading America's message to their homelands is admirable, to say the least.
"The relationship of the Haitian people with the U.S. is important," Chouloute said. "If we weren't there, there would be more hunger, and more looting. It would be a lot worse than it is right now."