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Visions of Afghanistan

Act I: Afghanistan's Past

Ronald Neumann

Former Ambassador to Afghanistan

Ronald Eldredge Neumann (born September 30, 1944) is an American diplomat who served as the United States Ambassador to Afghanistan (2005–2007), Bahrain (2001–2004) and Algeria (1994–1997). He is the son of former ambassador Robert G. Neumann and traveled extensively after college in Afghanistan while his father was ambassador there. Both he and his father served in diplomatic posts in Afghanistan: only one other father-and-son pair, John Adams and his son, John Quincy Adams, did the same; both Adamses served as Ministers to Britain.


Act II: Present Day Afghanistan

Perry Blackburn

Founder, AFG Free

LTC (ret) Perry Blackburn the oldest son of Rita and SGM (ret) Perry Blackburn sr. spent most of his youth in Germany as an Army brat. He was commissioned out of the University of Arkansas Razorback BDE which was the beginning of a remarkable career. He was recently inducted into the University Hall of fame. During his time in the military, Perry served in multiple roles with the U.S. Army. He commanded soldiers from Platoon to Battalion levels and graduated from the hardest courses in the Army and Navy. As a Green Beret combat diver Perry went to the Navy SEAL dive supervisor course. Early in his Special Forces career Captain Blackburn was attached to 7th SFG(A) and deployed to Panama during Just Cause and Promote Liberty. This was his first combat deployment but he would continue deployments throughout his career to the horn of Africa, Middle East, Kuwait, Somalia, Bosnia, Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Albania, Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq. The majority of his Special Forces time was with 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Fort Campbell Kentucky, where he was deployed to multiple theatres and combat zones. His career with 5th SFG (A) started as a member of U.S. Special Forces dive team commander, Operational Detachment Alpha 555 the “Triple Nickel” chronicled in 5th SFG(A) history. During that time, he deployed to numerous combat zones spending most of his time in Africa and the Middle East. Triple Nickel under Perry’s leadership was selected to conduct classified operations out of Djbouti during the crisis in Somalia. He was in the invasion force in Afghanistan and Iraq and served multiple tours in both areas. As a Green Beret, he was one of the first Americans on the ground in Afghanistan after 9/11. He was an Operational Detachment Bravo commander, commanding pecialForces A teams and one B team on his infiltration into Afghanistan in 2001. Perry’s story has been written about in numerous magazines, newspapers and books. Recently a Navy SEAL wrote the “Talent War’ and opened with Perry’s story. Perry’s career spanned over 8 combat deployments but the highlight was his deployment to Afghanistan in 2001 as a commander of Special Forces A teams and a Special Forces B team. Perry and his men raised an Afghan army of more than 900 soldiers and conducted operations to capture/kill Usama Bin Laden and defeat AQ and the Taliban. Perry was awarded the Bronze Star with V for Valor for his actions during a three day continuous fight against AQ and the Taliban. On the first day of the engagement Perry was struck by Lightning but was able to continue to direct his men and on the last day seize the objective and defeat the enemy. His last major combat action during the invasion was operation Anaconda. After Perry retired in 2014 he took his Arabic language skills to the United Arab Emirates and played semi-professional football and trained the Emirates to defeat Yemen insurgents. He played semi-professional football as a QB for the Abu Dhabi Wildcats and UAE Falconswhere he traveled throughout Europe playing football, one of his most memorable games was against Kiev Ukraine Patriots in their national stadium. He retired from football and started AFGfree a nonprofit organization to feed, shelter and evacuate American citizens, allies and partners in Afghanistan after the U.S. withdraw in 2021.His organization now provides aid in Afghanistan, Ukraine and Iraq continuing the Green Beret motto “liberate the oppressed”. Perry and Constance raised a fire team of 4: Trey, Victor, Stormie and Breanna. The Blackburn family has since grown and added 8 awesome grandchildren. Perry’s family has a long line of service to our nation, both his grandfathers, father, brother Tim, and sons served. His oldest son Trey was awarded the purple heart for injuries sustained in Mosul, Iraq as an infantryman.


Act III: A Hopeful Afghanistan

Farida Mohammadi

Female Tactical Platoon

Having grown up and Farida studied school in Mazar i Sharif, Afghanistan, Farida was once a teacher of adult education class. Her career path took a dramatic and dangerous turn however, when she joined a joint Afghan-American Special Operations unit in 2016. She worked as a nurse in a special forces clinic, while also serving in the Female Tactical Platoon, where she worked with Special Missions Units in pursuing high-value terrorists and high risk intelligen collection. Farida now lives in Lancaster PA where she is taking healthcare classes. Her ulitmate goal however, is to join the US military.

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