FF serviceman to speak at Hillcrest [UPDATED]Published 10:56am Thursday, May 26, 2011 Updated 10:56am Thursday, May 26, 2011
Kabul, Afghanistan, is a long way from Fergus Falls but Shawn Stroud will make the journey and speak during Sunday morning’s Hillcrest graduation ceremony. His son, Grant, will be among the graduates at the student activities center.
It will be a busy weekend for Stroud, US Army Communication Director, NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan. After his commencement address on Sunday, he will speak during a Memorial Day service at Oak Grove Cemetery, Fergus Falls.
“After spending 10 months here in Afghanistan, I’m definitely ready for some R and R,” said Stroud.
He has been away from Fergus Falls since mid-July 2010. Stroud
voluntarily extended his duties overseas to support the communication mission in Afghanistan. He works as the director of communication and is senior communication advisor to LTG William Caldwell who is the Commanding General for NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan.
“We’re located at Camp Eggers in Kabul,” said Stroud. “I’ve worked for LTG Caldwell on two previous assignments, first in Iraq when he was the spokesman for the Multi National Force-Iraq and second when he was the Commanding General for the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. I have such incredible respect for him and the tireless effort he puts into the mission.”
Stroud said that Caldwell really believes in lifting up others and leading by example, something that makes others want to follow him.
As one of Caldwell’s senior advisors, Stroud has the opportunity to travel across the country, attend senior level briefings and meetings, and interact with senior Afghan officials, Afghan police and Army leadership on a daily basis.
“It’s truly an incredible experience and a unique opportunity to interface with the highest levels of Afghan, US and International leadership,” he said.
Prior to deploying in Afghanistan, Stroud was the Professor of Military Science at NDSU in Fargo where he served in that position for one year. His family lives in Moorhead. His wife Amy and daughter, Amanda (HLA Class of 2008) both attend school at NDSU.
“After patiently waiting for 25 years while supporting me as an Army wife and raising our four children, Amy returned to college as a sophomore to pursue her dream of becoming an elementary school teacher,” said Stroud. “She has carried the load of taking care of the home front as well as being a full-time college student while I’m deployed. I’m so proud of her.”
Amy Stroud, a straight A student, wrote and illustrated her own children’s book while her husband Shawn was deployed.
“She really is an incredible inspiration to me,” said Stroud.
Many area sports fans recall Stroud as a member of the outstanding Fergus Falls Otter basketball team in 1982.