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News: Cavalry troopers, Iraqi army visit local school; provide assistance

Story by Pfc. Adam HalleckSmall RSS Icon

Cavalry troopers, Iraqi army visit local school; provide assistance Pfc. Adam Halleck

An Iraqi army soldier assigned to the 37th Brigade, 9th Iraqi Army Division, hands school supplies to a young Iraqi girl who attends the al-Abbas School in Taji Nov. 11. Iraqi and U.S. troops visited the school to hand out school supplies and assess area security.

TAJI, Iraq — In an effort to strengthen a sense of normalcy for the children in their area of operations, U.S. and Iraqi troops partnered together to distribute schools supplies and to assess local security.

On Nov. 11, U.S. Soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, utilized the "Operation Back to School" program, Nov. 11, to visit the al-Abbas School, here, with their Iraqi counterparts.

"At first, when we offered the idea of visiting the school to provide assistance, the headmaster was skeptical," said Spc. Sesily Aponte, 1479 Civil Affairs Company. "He said he'd received promises from [U.S. Soldiers] in the past, but no aid ever came."

Al-Abbas School is a self sustaining school and has never received assistance from U.S. or Iraqi forces before the Nov. 11 visit.

"Delta Company proposed they use 'Operation Back to School' to help the school because it would benefit from the program more than any other area school," added Aponte, a native of Camden, N.J. "The school has very humble facilities but still manages to adequately educate hundreds of kids."

Students, in small classrooms, sit three to a desk offering their attention to their instructors, unfazed by the commotion of Soldiers hurriedly stacking boxes full of school supplies yards away.

"The children were very happy to receive the supplies," said Aponte. "They did seem more focused on their school work though, which is great."

"The kids here aren't used to the same luxuries as we are in the states," explained1st Lt. Carl Runner, a native of Diboll, Texas. "For us to bring the stuff that matters means a lot to them."

"Bringing a pen and paper, making sure they are safe and healthy is more than enough for the kids of al-Abbas," added Runner.


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This work, Cavalry troopers, Iraqi army visit local school; provide assistance, by PFC Adam Halleck, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:11.11.2009

Date Posted:11.14.2009 11:32

Location:TAJI, IQGlobe

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