U.S. Army, Europe Field Artillery Soldiers help displaced Families in Iraq
June 17, 2008
FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq -- Soldiers with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, donated water and school supplies to two internally displaced Iraqi families at the al-Nabaha School complex in Narhwan, Iraq, June 5.
"This area of Narhwan is one of the (poorer) sections," said 2nd Lt. Guy Allsup, 3rd platoon leader with the 2nd BCT's Company C, 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery. "To be able to get out there and help out these families ... shows that we really are listening to their needs."
In the past, brigade officials said, local residents and Iraqi Police helped find jobs and living quarters for the families. Allsup said it was important to build on that foundation.
"(IPs and local families) have been helping out these families before we got here and they are very proud of what they have done," Allsup said. "We had Iraqi Police and locals come up to us and thank us for helping out. That is huge for us. Building trust can be a slow process and these are the types of things that will help speed that process up."
Allsup said the children were extremely excited to receive the school supplies and the families appreciated the bottled water.
The Soldiers also inspected the school complex's water purification system. They found that the pump system on the purification unit was broken and scheduled a project to repair it.
"We realize the importance of clean water and are working hard to get the pump fixed as soon as possible," Allsup said. "Not only will they have clean water, but it will cut down on water drops, helping them become more self-reliant."
Since arriving in the Mada'in Qada region in April, brigade officials said, 2nd BCT Soldiers have been supporting efforts to improve the health and welfare of area residents and enhance their quality of life.
The 2nd BCT is a U.S. Army Europe unit based in Baumholder, Germany.