ATLANTA, Ga. (Oct. 16, 2006) - Georgia State University women’s soccer head coach Domenic Martelli is proud of his military ties from when he was an assistant coach at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York from 1993 through 2000.
When one his former West Point soccer players and current Army captain Sally Nordeen approached her former coach about assisting the war in Afghanistan in a seemingly minor, yet conversely important way, Martelli knew he and his team could surely contribute.
Nordeen, a forward at the United States Military Academy from 1994 to 1997, is a member of an armed forces team whose mission is to offer medical assistance to a refugee area that included over 10,000 people, half of which are children. The medical attention is the first assistance many of the refugees have been offered.
She approached Martelli about providing simple items to many of the displaced children in Afghanistan. Towards the end of September, Martelli and his team gathered daily items many Americans would take for granted for a group of needy children across the globe.
The Panthers collected toys, toiletries, school supplies, clothes and more to be delivered to the refugees and their children receiving medical attention at different stations throughout Afghanistan. Many of those receiving medical attention have few personal belongings after being displaced from their homes. Some refugees fled to Pakistan and have since returned to their war-scathed homeland.
“We just hope these items can provide some comfort,” said Martelli. “All of my players were excited to put in the effort to help out young children and it’s just something you’re very proud to do.”
Georgia State junior captain Christa Mann echoed Martelli’s sentiments; “We felt like this was a great and unique opportunity to help some kids who are in need and we were more than happy to assist.”
Nordeen’s current tour of duty has included assisting the Afghan National Army, US Medical personnel and the World Health Organization. She has also provided immunizations to refugees and assisted local veterinary units as well as the Afghani Government’s Ministry of Health.
“Any time as coach you want to help out youth and anyone else you can. I’m just happy to help Sally and we just hope this has helped those kids in any way,” said Martelli.