Motherwear Blog: From Afghanistan with LOVE

Standard-Times photo by Patrick Dove

Every two weeks since early September 2007, young Silas Bohl has received a special package from halfway around the world. His mother, Capt. Ginger Bohl, is deployed with the Air Force in Afghanistan. The packages contain 30 to 40 pounds of frozen breast milk that travels in a convoluted, globe-trotting shipping route from the war zone to the Bohls’ home. Ginger Bohl’s deployment wraps up in mid-January, and she hopes to be back in San Angelo in time for Silas’ first birthday.

Standard-Times photo by Patrick Dove

Mike Bohl unpacks a cooler of frozen breast milk with his son Silas in their San Angelo home. The milk comes from Bohl’s wife, Air Force Capt. Ginger Bohl, who is deployed in Afghanistan.

From Afghanistan with love.
Thanks to reader Kelly in Nevada, here’s a pretty inspiring story for you:
Air Force Captain Ginger Bohl, deployed to Afghanistan in August when her son was about 6 months old, has been sending pumped milk back to him ever since.
The San Angelo, Texas Standard Times reports:
“It’s my wife,” says Michael Bohl, her husband and Silas’ father. “She is an amazing woman – her spirit, her faith, everything about her just shines.”
Ginger Bohl, an Air Force captain, is an active-duty doctor deployed in Afghanistan from Goodfellow Air Force Base. Since leaving in late August, Bohl has sent home biweekly shipments of her breast milk, frozen and shipped in 30- to 40-pound quantities directly to the Bohl family.
Thirty-five pounds of milk is about 4 gallons’ worth. This delicate commodity makes it halfway across the planet, a distance of more than 8,000 miles, in just three short days.
The father notes that Ginger has been very lucky to have an power and a freezer at her post, and that the family is lucky to be able to afford the shipping costs. He suggests a moratorium on deployment for breastfeeding mothers beyond the current four month limit. He also notes that the importation hasn’t always been smooth:
Shipments have been held up by customs and the USDA because of the potential for infectious diseases.
“There’s one guy at JFK (airport in New York City) who is now very informed about the benefits of breast-feeding and why we needed the milk right away,” Bohl said. “I was even sent to the IRS to get the milk because they thought we were running some kind of Afghani breast-milk ring.”
Ginger Bohl will return home in a few days. Her husband says:
“She’s been gone for so long, nearly half of his life,” Bohl said. “Every time he hears her on the TV [through a webcast], he crawls up to touch it. He knows her face and her voice. He knows his mommy. I know it won’t be a problem.”
Jenny Hatch
Just a little comment. Mothers in the military should not be sent away from babies under three years of age!!! This is absolutely nuts.

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