Published Wed, Feb 22, 2012 8:09 am Dateline
Updated Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:18 pm
While American marines are fighting on the front lines overseas, a group within their ranks is working to make positive contact with Afghan citizens, especially with the women.
Female Engagement Teams are groups of female marines who are assigned the duties of getting to know the women in the Afghan communities where the groups are stationed.
FET's focus is on creating a better relationship with civilians and helping the women with social and health issues at home.
Ohio University visual communications professor Becky Sell followed FET's in the summer of 2010, documenting their day-to-day lives using video and photographs.
"I think it's all part of a counter insurgency effort. So it's actually a very small piece of a very large puzzle. So most of it's probably going to make a change over the long term, over the course of years and years," says Sell.
Sell says the women in the FET groups hope to gain the trust of Afghan women and children, but also says it's a long and ongoing process.
"Even the women who were there communicated that even in their short span of seven months in the area they can only do so much change to affect a culture and to get to know the women who have been kept alone in compounds for most of their lives," says Sell.
Sell was a guest last night on WOUB Television's Newswatch.