Thursday, May 18, 2006

Laying Down Gravel and the Foundations for Peace

Apologies for my absence....

After reading Curt's post on Murtha's latest, I thought I'd spread some of the good news coming out of Iraq.
U.S. Army Maj. Jeff Pugh helps Iraqi children put gravel on the new playground at the Al Shrooq Primary and Secondary School in Taji, Iraq, April 19, 2006. Pugh serves as a civil affairs officer with Company A, 490th Civil Affairs Battalion, attached to 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brent Hunt

U.S. Army Master Sgt. Ronnie Reece (left), Iraqi school children, the school’s headmaster, and U.S. Army Sgt. Lucas Murray pose for a photo after completing work on the playground at the Al Shrooq Primary and Secondary School in Taji, Iraq, April 19, 2006. Reece serves as civil affairs noncommissioned officer-in-charge, Company A, 490th Civil Affairs Battalion, attached to 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division; Murray is assigned as an infantryman with Company D, 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry Regiment, Rhode Island National Guard. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brent Hunt

Skye brought this news to my attention. Troll left a comment regarding the 490th Civil Affairs Battalion, mentioning that those re-enlisting are on a 3-6 month waiting to list to return to Iraq. That doesn't exactly sound like a demoralized military to me. According to Michael Fumento, in his experience, morale appears to be highest amongst the combat soldiers. Skye links to Those Whacky Iraqis, who has this to say:

While I was in Dubai the USS Ronald Reagan was in town. I went into a bar full of sailors and they saw the 1st CAV patch on my 3-Day bag. We got into discussions about the war and I was not surprised to hear from them that they only hear the worst of what happens here. Just like everyone at home, they don't read anymore, they just get all their news from electronic sources like CNN, and CBS, et al.

These MSM entities don't publish good news because "If it bleeds, it leads". Bad news is page one, good news is page three filler. As a result most people don't know about the good that has been done here or how the Army goes about it's day to day business.

I have posted the first in a series of photos showing some of our Civil Affairs group putting gravel down at an Iraqi school. That may not seem like a big deal to you but to a child who has nothing but a dirty, dusty place to play, it is wonderful. I know these soldiers and I know the photographer. These are not staged photos. This is the real Army and these are real smiles.

I also know EXACTLY where that gravel came from. For the rest of the story check out this link.

In the comments section, flythemig29 makes the point that even if the current generation of Iraqi adults are not all friendly toward Americans, and are suspicious of our motives, Iraqi children will remember the kindness and goodness of our soldiers whether it be passing out candy, school supplies, soccer balls, building playgrounds, or doing the seemingly innocuous act of laying down gravel for the purpose of rebuilding a brighter future for them. And "if the children see us in a different light and do not want to fight us then our children will not have to fight either."

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Blogger Anna said...

At the Operation Iraqi Children site is a lovely letter from a woman who was 6 years old at the end of WWII and she vividly remembers getting a care package with paper and pencils and a chocolate bar from the Americans. To this day she is grateful and has become an American citizen and is helping OIC.

Yes, they will remember...the school supplies, the shoes, the candy, the toys and those great big guys kicking around a soccer ball with them!

Oh, and Murtha has gone so far around the bend that he's completely lost to reality! (I'm sure the Marines are steaming mad about his comments, too!)

Thursday, May 18, 2006 4:04:00 PM  
Blogger Pamela Reece said...

Glad you're back, Sparky. I have missed your posts but respect you for your absence. Thanks for sharing such great photos and reminding folks the good work being done.

Thursday, May 18, 2006 5:27:00 PM  
Anonymous skye said...

Hey Word!

I am nearly finished writing my top ten reasons for not blogging this week.

I see I wasn't the only one who is slacking :))

Thursday, May 18, 2006 9:05:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Thanks Pamela; your visits are always appreciated.

Skye....this post was a piece of cake, considering I piggy-backed on your legwork, and flythemig29's.

Thursday, May 18, 2006 9:52:00 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

Ecellent Post Word,
I am so sick of Murtha, and the bad news, it's nice to see good news for a change!

Thursday, May 18, 2006 9:58:00 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

It's absolutely wonderful to see good news for a change. Thanks for a great post, Wordsmith!

I slacked off for a week myself, but I sort of had too. I lost my computer entirely. That's one way to take a vacation!

Thursday, May 18, 2006 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

That last paragraph was awesome and I think it is so true. Many Iraqi children will remember our kindness and help and it will make a difference. My kids and I go to put the school kits together for the Iraqi children in 2 wks.

Friday, May 19, 2006 6:00:00 PM  
Blogger Mike's America said...

Enough of this slackness!

Both you and Skye need to catch up!

Last week I was busy with my annual college days backgammon tournament, beer, beach and golf fest.

That's my excuse... But I'm caught up now.

Saturday, May 20, 2006 9:31:00 AM  

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