CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq Aca,!" Approximately 200 Iraqi students of the Ur Primary School, located in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah, could not hide their excitement with American forces Jan 13.

For the first time since Coalition forces arrived in Iraq, the small Bedoin school received a visit from American Soldiers with school bags and school supplies in hand.

Aca,!A"We thank the Coalition forces for the gift on behalf of the Nasiriyah Department of Education,Aca,!A? said Camel Ali Joseph, the principal of the Ur Primary School.

Aca,!A"The kids were really happy and excited today,Aca,!A? said Staff Sgt. Kristen Poe, an intelligence analyst assigned to the 4th Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. Aca,!A"If you can make a (difference) in one personAca,!a,,cs life -- to me that means I made my mark on my tour in Iraq.Aca,!A?

Poe, a 29 year-old native of Houston,Texas, decided to visit the school based on a suggestion from her new-found Iraqi friend, Daif. Daif has two children who attend the school, and he explained to Poe how badly all the kids needed school supplies.

Aca,!A"Since his kids go to this school, and I regularly go out to his home to check on him and his family, I wanted to make a difference in the school,Aca,!A? Poe said.

Poe located donated supplies through assistance from Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Albrecht, the 4th STB, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div. personnel security detachment platoon sergeant. Albrecht told her of Web site that helps interested people make donations on behalf of Soldiers who were killed while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Aca,!A"Last deployment, two of my friends, who were also Soldiers, were killed over here,Aca,!A? said Albrecht, who hails from Grand Forks, N.D.

He said the wife of one of his late friends first discovered the Web site, to honor her late husband and his fallen gunner, and to send school supplies to help needy children.

Aca,!A"When (they) were killed, there were two school-age children who were killed also,Aca,!A? added Albrecht.

The school supply delivery not only demonstrated the continued support of Coalition forces to stabilize and assist the Iraqi people, but for Poe and Albrecht, reaching out to the Nasiriyan children was a sign of progress in southern Iraq.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16