Jamesb101.com

commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

The Marines sign up a water polo team….In Aftganistan…..

Only the Marines….

Marine reservist Jeremy Piasecki…thought it might be a good idea to have a water polo team for the country…..

Piasecki of course has a background in the sport back home in California…….

So he’s formed a non- profit corporation and is recruiting players…and with the help of his wife….and us media types pushing the story….hopes to get the team up and running……

Tryouts


The military brass and the politicians in Kabul, the capital, and Washington have ideas about what Afghans need to buck up their spirits during the struggle with the Taliban. Piasecki has his own view.

“They need heroes,” he said while on security patrol in Marja, guarding a couple of Marine generals after the recent offensive that wrested control of the area from the Taliban.

For two years Piasecki has pursued his quixotic dream. He knows that his zeal for the notion of nation-building through athleticism seems strange to many. Especially nation-building through water polo.

“They just don’t understand,” he said.

In 2008, while working on a civilian contract job with the Afghan army, he held tryouts after finding an abandoned swimming pool at a base east of Kabul. The pool was dry and clogged with weeds. Piasecki had it cleaned and filled with water.

True, during the tryouts, he had to jump into the pool to keep some of his candidates from going under. And finding Speedo-style swimsuits, the traditional uniform of water polo players, was not easy in the bazaars of Kabul.

But now he has lined up several dozen players, mostly Afghan soldiers. The rub is finding the money to bring the team to the U.S. for training and people-to-people diplomacy.

Popular in Australia, Canada and some European countries, water polo is also big in the United States, particularly in Southern California, and Piasecki wants to recruit some of the many coaches he knows. And he’s eager for the Afghans to meet Americans.

Scott McCook remembers the early-morning call he got from Piasecki, who had coached his daughter in Fallbrook, Calif. Piasecki was asking for help raising money.

“It was kind of surreal,” McCook said. “I was groggy and it took me a few minutes to catch on. Finally, I asked him, ‘Water polo in Afghanistan? Are you kidding?’ ”

More……..


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April 17, 2010 - Posted by | Blogs, Counterpoints, Entertainment, Government, Health, Media, Men, Military, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Sports, Travel, Updates | , , , ,

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