Sewell talks about spending Mother's Day in Afghanistan
For most women the ideal Mother’s Day trip wouldn’t involve flying 17 hours each way so they could spend the holiday in Afghanistan, but Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell said it was an amazing experience being able to spend the holiday with women from her district who are sacrificing time with their families “to protect our freedoms.”
Sewell, who returned a few days ago, joined Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi in a bipartisan delegation of five women who made the first congressional trip to Afghanistan since President Barack Obama signed the historic Strategic Partnership Agreement with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai.
Spending almost as much time in the air as on the ground, the delegation spent two days in the Afghan provinces of Helmand and Kandahar meeting with troops on Mother’s Day weekend, discussing policy issues with top military and non-military officials and speaking with Afghan women.
The Alabama Democrat said the highlight for her was probably talking with members of the military, especially the female members, who are serving in Afghanistan from her district.
“It was very emotional for me because I know how large the sacrifices are that those women, many of whom had multiple children, are making,” she said. “I had breakfast with many women from the 7th District, women who had four or five children, but were still in Afghanistan making this sacrifice for our freedoms.
“They were there obviously away from their families and the day-to-day experience of parenting, so you had to come away with an appreciation of their commitment, their bravery.”
She said the members of the military mainly expressed their thanks simply for being given the resources to carry out their mission.
“I think they were so appreciative to have a congressional delegation — a bipartisan delegation of Democrat and Republican women — coming to Afghanistan and being there on Mother’s Day to show our appreciation of the sacrifices that they are making being away from their families during this time.” Sewell said.