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On Monday: how to prepare for and welcome 16,000 additional soldiers and their 26,000 family members.

On Tuesday: how to build international peace, one school at a time, as told by a remarkably motivated Montana man.

At the Fort Carson Town Hall Meeting on Monday, Jan. 14, regular citizens can question civilian and military decision-makers about the incoming troops' impact on our community. (Over half will be mid-level enlisted personnel, married with kids, and 73 percent will live off-post.)

The next day, Greg Mortenson, best-selling author of Three Cups of Tea, will point our eyes toward different statistics. Currently, according to the 2007 Pew Global Attitudes Project, 72 percent of Pakistanis have unfavorable views of the United States. Until America once again captures the world's hearts and minds, Mortenson argues, we'll never have lasting peace.

His plan, which he admits will require generations to take hold, is to build coed and secular schools abroad. So far, he's built 64 in Pakistan and Afghanistan and educated 25,000 students, including 14,000 girls.

Our hope is that these two unique events linked by a desire to promote greater understanding between people will help us better engage with our community, our nation and our world.

  • Two unique events will help us engage with our community, nation and world.

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