Photo of the Week: Building Friendship in The Gambia

Posted by Amanda Brooks
January 20, 2012
First Lieutenant Matthew Suber Plays With Gambian Children

This week's “Photo of the Week” was submitted by U.S. Air Force Captain Alden Y. Gilroy to the Office of Art in Embassies for the “Serving Abroad…Through Their Eyes” exhibition. Pictured is First Lieutenant Matthew Suber, who was serving as the Force Protection Officer during Exercise AFRICA ENDEAVOR, the largest communications exercise on the African continent. The Gambian Army hosted the event at Fajara Barracks, which is also home to many families of their soldiers.

Captain Gilroy describes the photograph: “Children nearby were playing near the exercise administrative building, and we went outside to visit them, and say hello during one of our breaks. The children always lingered near the fences curious about all of the foreign armed forces and beckoned for our water bottles. They liked to collect the bottles and reuse them to sell juice. We went outside and played with them, and Lt. Suber liked to make faces with them. Every day we waved hello to them, and one day Lt. Suber gave them a piggyback ride. We made many friends during the exercise, and one of the best aspects was interacting with the Gambians.”

The “Serving Abroad…Through Their Eyes” photography exhibition seeks to honor Americans who have served overseas, and aims to convey their experiences -- including daily life, friendship, loss, or triumph. Captain Gilroy's photograph certainly captures friendship, and reminds us one can make friends no matter where he or she travels.

Any current or former military, civil, and Foreign Service officer may submit up to 10 compelling photographs from their service abroad for consideration to be included in the exhibition and an expressive video artwork display that will be shown at prominent international locations. Submissions will be accepted now through February 20, 2012. Rules, guidelines, and entry forms can be found here.



District Of Columbia, USA
January 23, 2012

E. in Washington writes:

Great photo. I love the little dude in the background with his hands on his hips!

California, USA
January 25, 2012

Slava in California writes:

It is good that U.S. Air Force establishes a contact with the young Gambians. I think this behavior fortifies people's positive attitude towards our country. I also think that First Lieutenant Matthew Suber should be a real role model to any U.S. Air Force Officer.

March 8, 2012

YGS-LYS writes:

Thanks for sharing


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