Former ambassador visits Hacienda Heights

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For most elementary school students, a lesson about Afghanistan probably involves cracking open their history books or bringing a newspaper to class.

On Thursday, the students at St. Mark’s Lutheran School in Hacienda Heights got a far more gritty lesson when the former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry stopped by for a visit with his wife Ching Eikenberry.

During Thursday’s assembly, which was attended by students in grades five through eight, the Eikenberrys shared their experiences in the war-torn country – Karl Eikenberry from a military and diplomatic perspective, Ching Eikenberry through the lens of women living there.

Last month, the former ambassador publicly questioned the ability of the Afghan government to handle its own security in time for the planned pullout of international troops in 2014. And on Thursday, Eikenberry said that the future of Afghanistan could potentially involve the young students before him.

“It’s likely that we’re going to have military troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014 if the government and people invite us,” he said. “I think it’s entirely possible some young men and women sitting here today well could be someone that serves there.”

Read more in J.D. Velasco’s story Ambassador.

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