Capt. John Green, a Linwood native and Eagle Scout, has carried his Boy Scout upbringing in his heart and wants to plant that seed in the hearts of boys across the globe.

Green, a medical logistics officer with the Army, is in Afghanistan, serving his third tour of duty outside the United States. "I knew before I came here I wanted to try and start a Scouting program," Green wrote in an email from Bagram Airfield. "I was not sure if something existed or not. Having had a chance to work with Iraqi Scouting when I was deployed to Iraq [my second tour there], I jumped at the chance to start a Scouting program here in Afghanistan."


Green, who graduated from Francis Scott Key High School in 1991, said he believes Scouting teaches youths, and adults, universal values of citizenship, duty and religion as well as teaching life skills.

"Afghanistan has seen decades of war, people living under constant threat, trying to scrape together an existence," he wrote. "I think Scouting would give youth hope and a chance to make a better life for them. It was [Boy Scout founder] Baden-Powell's hope that the Scout movement would bring about world peace. Scouting is firmly entrenched in most of the world and it's a good thing that will only continue to grow."

Green said he reached out to his Iraqi Scouting contacts and learned there were service members and civilian contractors working with Scouting in Afghanistan's capital city, Kabul. He then formed a committee "to try and get things going here," he wrote, "and explore the possibility of getting youth onto post [for Scouting] activities."

Green wrote, "I am taking what I know as a Scout leader and applying it to what I am doing here along with my training as a soldier in partnering with the local community. I have my two doctors and three contract civilians working with me right now to lay the groundwork before we go public with asking for post-wide volunteers."

Green said the steps ahead include finding a military unit to sponsor them and finding a secure area where they can bring youth onto post, as well as "getting the Civil Affairs unit to go out and provide support to local communities."

He said the events of Feb. 21, involving the accidental burning of the Quran, have slowed his efforts to connect with the villages immediately outside the gates of Bagram. "It has been held up a little bit," he wrote, "but I never expected for this to be a turnkey operation."

Green wrote, "I hope that what I have started here will be picked up by others and continue so that one day the youth who live in the city of Bagram will know what Scouting is.

"I think I have always had it in me to be a Scout," he wrote. "I always wanted to help people as a little kid. Scouting just gave me the leadership skills and knowledge to go out into life prepared to do anything I wanted to do. When I enlisted in the army, I was given a stripe on my collar for being an Eagle Scout. Even the military recognizes the skill and dedication that goes into being an Eagle Scout."

Green's home residence is now in Fort Drum, N.Y., with his wife Allison "Alli" Green, their 2-year-old daughter Aimee and Alli's 17-year-old son Joe. The family said they email each other daily, talk on the phone once or twice a week, and try to Skype weekly.

John Green often shares stories with his wife of his New Windsor Boy Scout troop and the adventures they had. "His Eagle Scout project was something he worked on at the Ag Center in Westminster," wrote Alli. "He built a ramp that would allow handicapped children to climb onto a horse."

Alli had a chance to meet her husband's scoutmaster a few years ago. "It was something special to watch them together," she wrote. "What a wonderful thing for the leader to see his Scout grown up and passing on that same legacy to a new generation of youth."

Alli wrote of John: "I couldn't be prouder. My husband is a good and honorable man who is making a real difference. These kids will have the opportunity to grow up with the same core values and beliefs that are the common ground found in the Scout movement worldwide.

"I know my family is blessed because of my husband's work with the youth," Alli wrote. "It's good for him, it helps us remain connected while we are both very involved in the Scout program where we are, and it's good for my kids. Those kids will grow up with the Scout program just like mine, giving them something special in common that is beyond religion or politics. If you have ever had the chance to see youth from Scout programs around the world interact with U.S. Scouts you'd see that they instantly became 'family.' It's an amazing and beautiful thing to see."

Joe said he is proud of his stepfather's work overseas. "I feel that he's working hard to bring some of the best experiences in life to boys who haven't had happy lives," Joe wrote in an email. "What he's doing is important to the future of these youth and will turn them into great men."