SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Special Report

September 8, 2011

Beverly soldier in Afghanistan still on guard

Beverly serviceman reflects on changes

When the second plane struck the World Trade Center in New York City, the phone rang almost immediately in the command post at Fort Carson, Colo.

A young lieutenant named Jason Galui answered the call.

Galui grew up on Liberty Street in Beverly. He was a star goaltender at the Pingree School in Hamilton who was recruited to play hockey for Army at West Point.

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, he was in charge of gate security at Fort Carson. He was ordered to close the gates, arm the guards and prepare for the possible arrival of the president of the United States, who was on his way to a nearby secure location.

As Galui was inspecting Gate 1, he ran into Lt. Gen. Edward Soriano, Fort Carson's post commander.

"Who's the OIC (officer in charge) here?" Soriano said.

"I am," Galui responded.

Soriano grabbed Galui by the shirt and said, "Well, protect this post. Nothing better happen to my soldiers."

Ten years later, Galui is still on guard. He is now a 34-year-old major serving in Afghanistan as a strategic adviser to Lt. Gen. Bill Caldwell, commanding general of the NATO Training Mission, the coalition of 19 countries charged with training Afghan security forces.

In a telephone interview from Afghanistan, Galui said the U.S. military and NATO are making progress on their goal of turning the country over to Afghan control by the end of 2014.

When the NATO training began in 2009, nine out of 10 members of the Afghan Security Force were illiterate, Galui said.

"You're telling them to load nine out of 10 rounds into a chamber, and they can't do it because they can't count, either," he said.

Now, Afghan soldiers and police officers receive 64 hours of literacy training, with the goal of reaching first-grade level by the time they finish basic training, Galui said. That standard will be increased to third grade by 2014.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Special Report

Local News
  • Ipswich selectmen act to stop clam raiders IPSWICH -- The Southwest is not the only border under siege. Ipswich is taking emergency action to deal with clammers coming across the Essex and Gloucester border on Sundays to harvest on the richest clamming beach in Ipswich. It's not as serious, o

    July 22, 2014

  • Scuba diver identified

    The district attorney's office has identified the man who died Tuesday in an apparent drowning while scuba diving approximately 2 miles off of Marblehead Harbor. He is Gregory Cole, 58, of Westfield.

    Foul play is not suspected.  The medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.  The facts and circumstances leading up to his death remain under investigation.

    July 23, 2014

  • New Brimbal Avenue design to be presented Thursday

    BEVERLY -- Residents will get their first chance to weigh in on the new design proposal for the Brimbal Avenue/Route 128 interchange on Thursday. City and state officials, along with designer Jacobs Engineering, will host a community meeting Thursday

    July 22, 2014 6 Stories

  • Bail set at $250K for teacher slaying suspect

    July 23, 2014

  • Marblehead diver rescue 2 Body of diver recovered off Marblehead

    State Police divers found the body of a 59-year-old man in the waters off Marblehead at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to state police.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos 1 Story