By SOPHIA BALKOVSKI
As students may have noticed, one of the assistant principals, Mr. Kris Kough, hasn’t been around since the beginning of the school year.
For the past few months, he has been serving our country by volunteering his time to the U.S. Army in Afghanistan.
Going above and beyond, he is part of the less than 1% of U.S. citizens that have served in the U.S. Army, and he is following the steps of the past male generations of his family.
Mr. Kough is currently a colonel, one of the highest ranks anyone can obtain as a field grade military officer.
“We assist the Army in their planning and executing of combat operations against the Taliban,” Mr. Kough said.
“We also work with [the] village, district and provincial leaders with governance, local projects and humanitarian assistance.”
With the U.S. Army, along with 41 different nations currently in Afghanistan, Mr. Kough gets to work with soldiers around the world to do counter-terrorist work.
Right now, he is helping the Afghan citizens have a safe and democratic upcoming election.
“The Afghans do all the work; we just assist often looking over their shoulder and helping out when needed.” Kough added.
He has been enjoying his time serving so far, commenting, “I love the camaraderie…being part of a team. Most of all, I love the excitement of the adventure!”
So far, he has experienced a welcoming environment, stating, “The Afghan people are extremely receptive to our assistance and some of the friendliest people I have ever met in my life.”
Even though his days have been extremely busy with all the work he has to do, he believes that the weeks have been flying by.
Mr. Kough compared the arid climate in Afghanistan to the deserts in Las Vegas, mentioning that “The weather is beginning to cool down from its usual summer average well over 100 degrees. I think we just finished the 100 Days of Wind here,” referring to a natural phenomenon in which winds constantly blow for a four-month period.
As a final thought, Mr. Kough described an experience he had when he was in high school, in which he befriended a boy who had recently immigrated from Egypt.
During one of their conversations, the boy told him “‘You don’t realize how lucky you are to be born in the US. I love my country, Egypt, but you really hit the jackpot being born here,’” a quote which has resounded with him to this day.
Mr. Kough advises all UHS students to treasure, and not take for granted, the opportunity they have in living in the United States, whether it be just for a short time or a lifetime.