KIRKUK, Iraq - The children of Taba near Kirkuk, Iraq, no longer have to play in the streets thanks to local government officials, military leaders with 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division and the local Iraqi police, after they commemorated the grand opening of the Raheemawah Playground in Taba with a ceremonial ribbon cutting, Aug. 17.
The $49,000 playground took less than a month to complete and is made up of three slides, a large play tower, monkey bars, a field for soccer and multiple picnic tables for more than 100 families who live in the area.
The idea for the playground originated from multiple meetings between local Iraqi security forces and Fort Stewart, Ga., soldiers with Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2-3rd Inf., according to Capt. John Cornthwaite, battalion engineer for 1/30th Inf., who coordinated the project with local contractors.
“We wanted to demonstrate our commitment to the citizens of Kirkuk and show them we do more than advise the police, what better way than to build a playground for the community,” said the Savannah, Ga., native.
Captain Cornthwaite added 1-30th Inf. and their Iraqi counterparts pushed for this project as a way to become a part of the community.
“Kirkuk’s culture is very family-oriented, so by providing a venue where families can come together, allows them to embrace family-ties and associates us as an extended family,” he said.
The contractor for the project who goes by Rasansh added they are becoming a part of the community and making the community a better place.
“The playground is a place where children and adults can come together in hope for a better future; this playground may seem like something small but it will make a very big impact on the community,” said Rasansh.
This work, Georgia Soldiers open children’s park in Iraq, by SPC Jessica Luhrs-Stabile, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.