Between 2004 and 2007, Marquette County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Glenn Sarka called the country of Afghanistan "home".
Working with the U.S. Government, he helped Afghanistan reform its legal system, he helped set up their Parliament and he worked with their Army. Sarka tells us that there's a lot more to Afghanistan than meets the eye.
"I could tell you if I walked down the street in Kabul today, I would get invited to 20 shoppes for tea, invited over to somebody's home for dinner or for tea. Very, very common," said Sarka.
Surprised? This is Afghanistan, the homeland of the Taliban! And that's a popular misconception; not all of Afghanistan is the Taliban. In fact, the civilians enjoyed having Sarka there. He drove his own car, had his own home, had friends and neighbors.
"And that's what we relied on there was the fact that Afghans were watching out for you. And they would. And that was really reassuring," Sarka said.
The country appreciated Sarka. He was different, he was an outsider, he was helping them build a working legal system. But their views of the American military aren't so friendly. He says they'd rather fight their own battles.
"'We know how to do this, this is our country, we know how to do this, we've been fighting wars successfully here for 2000 years. Let us do it, just give us the resources to do it.' And you look around, and people are rebuilding and people have a lot of faith that they're going to get their country back," Sarka added.
When things settle down and Afghanistan is moving forward and is stable on its own, he'd love to go back to this country that welcomed him with such open arms.
Monday, January 25, Sarka will be presenting a slide show and exhibit at the Peter White Library in Marquette at 7 p.m.