Fort Jackson soldier working with families in Afghanistan - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Fort Jackson soldier working with families in Afghanistan

Capt. Sophie Hilaire (Source: 1st Lt. Scott Brown) Capt. Sophie Hilaire (Source: 1st Lt. Scott Brown)
Capt. Sophie Hilaire (Source: 1st Lt. Scott Brown) Capt. Sophie Hilaire (Source: 1st Lt. Scott Brown)
Capt. Sophie Hilaire (Source: 1st Lt. Scott Brown) Capt. Sophie Hilaire (Source: 1st Lt. Scott Brown)
Capt. Sophie Hilaire (Source: 1st Lt. Scott Brown) Capt. Sophie Hilaire (Source: 1st Lt. Scott Brown)
Capt. Sophie Hilaire with her sister (Source: 1st Lt. Scott Brown) Capt. Sophie Hilaire with her sister (Source: 1st Lt. Scott Brown)

AFGHANISTAN (WIS) - A Fort Jackson soldier recognized for her physical fitness is spending her first deployment to Afghanistan working with the nation's women and children. If her mission goes well, she will bring a new title and badge when she returns home.

 Capt. Sophie Hilaire is a logistics officer with a Provincial Reconstruction Team. She says that's her day job.  When Hilaire deployed, she was a first lieutenant.

 "By night I go out on raids with our brigade's targeting platoon, who detain confirmed enemies within the region," said Hilaire via e-mail.

 "My role is to search and question the women and children with an interpreter, since they hold a great deal of intelligence that the male soldiers are not allowed to gather due to cultural sensitivity," she said.

Those raids are dangerous.  Hilaire earned the Combat Action Badge, which is awarded to non-infantry soldiers who are engaged by or engage the enemy.  Hilaire says it's a rare award for a female.  In Hilaire's case, she said she was engaged by the enemy.

 The West Point graduate and fitness guru volunteered for the mission in Afghanistan in 2012. When she arrived in the war-torn country, she met her sister, who is also a graduate of West Point and stationed in Afghanistan.

 "It's been highly rewarding and a very fascinating way to view Afghanistan," she said. "Climbing foreboding mountains at night and entering strangers' homes--it's about as intimate yet intrusive as one can get. But the Afghans have hospitality ingrained within them.  I've been offered chai, dresses, and even invited to a wedding."

The US withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan means Hilaire's deployment was shorter than expected.  Her team is the last in the region, but her job as logistics officer means she has to get 11 years' worth of army equipment and vehicles back home.

"I've seen evil here," she said.  "But also there is hope."

Copyright 2013 WIS.  All rights reserved.

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • Average price of US gas jumps 10 cents, to $3 a gallon

    Average price of US gas jumps 10 cents, to $3 a gallon

    Sunday, May 20 2018 1:31 PM EDT2018-05-20 17:31:27 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 1:42 PM EDT2018-05-20 17:42:19 GMT

    The average price of regular-grade gasoline in the U.S. jumped 10 cents a gallon over the past two weeks to $3.00.

    More >>

    The average price of regular-grade gasoline in the U.S. jumped 10 cents a gallon over the past two weeks to $3.00.

    More >>
  • Arrest records of Rosa Parks, MLK to be preserved

    Arrest records of Rosa Parks, MLK to be preserved

    Sunday, May 20 2018 11:41 AM EDT2018-05-20 15:41:33 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 1:39 PM EDT2018-05-20 17:39:07 GMT
    (Alabama State University via AP). This photo shows the signature of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on a court document in the archive of Alabama State University in Montgomery, Ala. The school is preserving and digitizing historic court documents lin...(Alabama State University via AP). This photo shows the signature of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on a court document in the archive of Alabama State University in Montgomery, Ala. The school is preserving and digitizing historic court documents lin...

    Yellowing court records from the arrests of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and others at the dawn of the modern civil rights era are being preserved and digitized after being discovered in a courthouse box.

    More >>

    Yellowing court records from the arrests of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and others at the dawn of the modern civil rights era are being preserved and digitized after being discovered in a courthouse box.

    More >>
  • Facebook: We're better at policing nudity than hate speech

    Facebook: We're better at policing nudity than hate speech

    Tuesday, May 15 2018 10:17 AM EDT2018-05-15 14:17:56 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 1:38 PM EDT2018-05-20 17:38:15 GMT
    For hate speech, Facebook's human reviewers and computer algorithms identified just 38 percent of the violations. (Source: Pixabay)For hate speech, Facebook's human reviewers and computer algorithms identified just 38 percent of the violations. (Source: Pixabay)

    Facebook report reveals its screening system is better at detecting some forms of offensive content than others.

    More >>

    Facebook report reveals its screening system is better at detecting some forms of offensive content than others.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly