Soldier will spend his leave time giving back

Neighbors: U.S. Army Lt. Dan Jones will travel to Jordan with a suitcase full of winter coats for Syrian refugees

of the GatewayJanuary 22, 2014 

Lt. Dan Jones, pictured with Afghan scouts in Kabul last December, will travel to Amman, Jordan, next month to deliver warm coats and needed aid to Syrian refugees.

DAN JONES/COURTESY PHOTO

U.S. Army Lt. Dan Jones won’t be using his leave time for rest and relaxation.

Jones, who lives in Gig Harbor, will head to Amman, Jordan, next month to volunteer with Syrian refugees. He was recently stationed in Afghanistan as a member of the Army Corps of Engineers. He returned from his deployment in the Middle East earlier this month.

Jones has a passion for the area. He once studied abroad in Israel. He doesn’t see a disconnect between fighting in a war zone and his humanitarian mission while he’s on leave.

Jones said his ultimate goal is to help people in whatever capacity he can.

“Whether I’m in uniform or acting in a civilian capacity, I firmly believe in helping people,” he said. “Ultimately, that is my overall aspiration.”

Jones will volunteer with Help Refugees in Jordan, a coalition formed by Catherine Ashcroft of the United Kingdom. The group’s mission is to raise funds for refugees and to provide critical supplies.

The United Nations Refugee Agency has registered 582,166 Syrian refugees who live in Jordan. In July, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon estimated more than 100,000 people had died in the Syrian Civil War.

An average of 6,000 refugees flee to Jordan each day, said Amelia Jones, Dan’s sister.

While he’s there, Jones will visit with the refugees, spend time with children and deliver goods. He collected warm coats and children’s clothing, coordinating with Amelia.

Amelia Jones said child refugees who lived in Jordan last winter faced snow up to their knees.

Dan Jones has reached the maximum amount he can fit in his luggage. Now, he’s asking for donations to purchase supplies for refugees who live in Amman.

He’s crowdsourcing funding at gogetfunding.com/project/helping-syrian-refugees-in-jordan.

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