HomeNewsArticle Display

Barksdale couple donates fuel for Afghan women

Gen. Myhammadzai Khatul hugs Senior Master Sgt. Elizabeth Melahn in Afghanistan after learning about the sergeant's donation of heating fuel for Afghani civilians. (Courtesy photo)

Gen. Myhammadzai Khatul hugs Senior Master Sgt. Elizabeth Melahn in Afghanistan after learning about the sergeant's donation of heating fuel for Afghani civilians. (Courtesy photo)

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. (AFNEWS) -- Thanks to a donation by two Airmen from here, Afghan women received 1,500 liters of heating fuel critical to help them through the winter.

The donation was made by Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Melahn and Senior Master Sgt. Elizabeth Melahn, who is deployed as the Afghan National Army Embedded Training Team S4 mentor from the 2nd Logistics Readiness Squadron here. Chief Melahn is the 2nd Security Forces Squadron command chief.

"A lot of the women are widowed and poor, and a lot of them have young children," Sergeant Melahn said. "It broke my heart because I'm a grandmother with two grandchildren. I told Gen. (Myhammadzai) Khatul that I would try to find the money to help, somehow." 

General Khatul is the only female general in the Afghani military.

At first, Sergeant Melahn tried to go through Commanders Emergency Response Program and the funds obligation officer with no success.

"That's when I decided to call my husband and ask him if we could make a donation of $1,200 to purchase 1,500 liters of fuel," the sergeant said.

According to her Afghani interpreter, Massa Mayanzai, 1,500 liters of fuel would provide 10 liters for 150 homes for a month.

"Sergeant Melahn is the greatest person I have met ever," Mr. Mayanzai said. "I have been working with the United States Army and Air Force for about five years. Sergeant Melahn is spending money from her own pocket to help Afghan people."

General Khatul was near tears after learning about Sergeant Melahn's contribution to Afghani women.

"My interpreters said General Khatul was so grateful and she blessed me," Sergeant Melahn said. "She kept saying 'thank you, thank you,' and 'God bless you.'"

"All the women and (Mr. Mayanzai) were very appreciative -- a lot of people are praying for me now," the sergeant said.

After Sergeant Melahn returned to Afghanistan after her rest and relaxation leave, she said all the women asked her if she and her husband were going to buy fuel again.

"I don't think that's possible, but we're looking at other ways to get more fuel if the weather takes a turn for the worse," Sergeant Melahn said.

At Barksdale Air Force Base, La., leadership is proud that the donation came from a local couple. The deeper and longer-lasting impact of the donation may be that the Afghan people understand the United States cares about their well-being and that there is hope for a better life, said Col. Michael Myers, the 2nd Mission Support Group commander.

Colonel Myers said the Melahns are special people who represent the best of the Air Force and Americans.

"Their selfless act of kindness no doubt won hearts and minds in Afghanistan and furthered U.S. efforts to promote democracy in this part of the world," the group commander said. 

Their generous donation has caught the attention of others. Since her return to Afghanistan, Barksdale's Chapter 615 of the Air Force Sergeants Association has donated $2000 for heating fuel.  A $500 donation also was made by Carole Barton of Langley, Va., and Kevin and Lisa Wright of Texas also contributed to Sergeant Melahn's efforts. The fuel was distributed earlier this month at the Ministry of Defense Compound in Kabul, Afghanistan, as part of Women's National Day.

Comment on this story (comments may be published on Air Force Link)

Click here to view the comments/letters page

Engage

Twitter
"We've made a lot of advances in the past few years, like opening up career fields in many countries to women, but… https://t.co/Hf2rblbuWZ
Twitter
"As a healthcare worker to say that ‘I trust it’, I’m going to demonstrate that I trust it and at the same time I t… https://t.co/F3Obpb8ciH
Twitter
.@AirNatlGuard and active-duty Airmen were deployed to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan to conduct Dynamic F… https://t.co/LUzcvqyM9V
Twitter
#ICYMI - The #AirForce and @DoDSpaceForce is seeking feedback through a survey for the second Independent Disparity… https://t.co/E4tjTSXUEF
Twitter
RT @WrightPattAFB: Airmen provide vaccinations “These Airmen are so excited to be part of the solution for our nation to effectively move b…
Twitter
RT @KadenaAirBase: Airmen from the 18th Component Maintenance Squadron Hydraulics Shop ensure that #TeamKadena's aircraft are always ready…
Twitter
“It is good to remember how we got here and what it took for the previous generations to fight the battle of lettin… https://t.co/9gc1e2iaLd
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: When #Airmen are empowered, nothing should stand in their way of making positive change. #acceleratechangeorlose https://…
Twitter
Ending the spread of #COVID19 https://t.co/PCPw2vufLS
Twitter
Chaplain (Maj.) Gabriel Rios assumed the #AirForce's 1st stole at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. The stole represents… https://t.co/BcgHvsKwjM
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Digital engineering is helping the Air & Space Forces, along with defense partners, field programs smarter & faster. The…
Twitter
“I saw my wingmen with families and young kids and didn’t want them to have to be away for too long, so I decided i… https://t.co/7lsjIymSyx
Twitter
"[Dr. Victoria Coleman] brings a wealth of expertise in both academia and industry. She recognizes that pushing the… https://t.co/73Otu5znlQ
Twitter
A Virtual Teen Camp will offer an introduction to aviation, and career and leadership opportunities within the… https://t.co/Hn0XBDu5uH
Twitter
The Three Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar program office at @Hanscom_AFB, Massachusetts, is currently ut… https://t.co/kppBPFby6h
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: The review we conducted last year, & the follow up efforts we’ve taken since, have really opened the door to meaningful,…
Twitter
Take a look at the most recent Week in Photos! Which one is your favorite? More at: https://t.co/HYMo58J8u6 https://t.co/VCR3yRicIl
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: F-16s get topped off with fuel by a KC-135 while supporting CJTF-OIR, where the main mission is to Defeat Da'esh. #FightToWin
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,341,529
Follow Us