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Rebecca Murga speaks about deployment in Afghanistan during Friday assembly

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Rebecca Murga speaks about deployment in Afghanistan during Friday assembly

Devin Nguyen

Devin Nguyen

Devin Nguyen

by Alisha Mayor & Arjun Ashok

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On Friday, December 2, Military Officer Rebecca Murga presented a photo and video series to Upper School students and faculty about the work she did during her deployment in Afghanistan this year.

Murga, who will be deployed again in April, serves as the Public Affairs Officer with Special Forces and Navy Seals currently stationed in Afghanistan. Having spent several months working with the culture support team in various Afghanistan villages, Murga shared the story of her efforts to help build and strengthen the communities there.

“Working with the children really changed me,” Murga said. “I think I had a different perspective because I was a woman walking around with a camera in my hands. Most of these kids had never seen a camera and didn’t understand what a photograph was.”

Students like Adarsh Battu (10) enjoyed the assembly because of the way Murga highlighted the cultural differences between Afghanistan and the United States, especially when considering women’s rights.

“She was really easy to listen to, and she showed us how different the two societies really are,” Adarsh said.

Katia Mironova (10) felt similarly, emphasizing that it was “really interesting to hear her explain the events she saw in an American perspective.”

Since first serving in Iraq in 2007, Murga has used her Canon 5DM2 camera to capture in photos and high-definition videos the story of her deployment in highly unstable war zones. In lieu of trying to explain in words what deployment is like, Murga created short video documentaries to present to her audiences.

“In the places I went to, I was often targeted simply because I was a woman,” said Murga, when asked about using her camera in a war zone. “It was easy to hide behind my lens and forget about the danger for a while.”

Many students, including Nikita Mittal (9), were inspired after hearing about the work Murga did to help Afghan women and children and seeing the photos.

“I’m sure she made a significant impact on many students listening, and especially on me,” Nikita Mittal (9) said. “She actually made me want to go out of my comfort zone and make a difference.”

“I appreciated her coming, as her presentation was very interesting,” Neeraj Baid (11) said.

Murga ended her speech by giving students something to think about: “You guys are going to be the leaders of this country,” she said. “We have to remember that we are global citizens, and we have a responsibility to this world.

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Rebecca Murga speaks about deployment in Afghanistan during Friday assembly