The women – “we band of sisters”, according to Garcia – are firm believers in empowering Afghan women because of the influence they have on their sons.

Garcia, born and raised in New York, the daughter of a Puerto Rican father and Guatemalan mother, said Afghan girls especially respond well to female American soldiers.

“I’m the same skin colour. I’ve got the same hair colour. I can see it on the little girls’ faces. They’re looking at me and saying, ‘You’re strong’ and I’m saying to them, ‘No, you’re strong’,” she said.