• BAGHDAD - Staff Sgt. Raymond Wong (left) a New York City native, and Sgt. Peter Farley, a Middlesboro, Mass. native, both with the  340th Military Police Company, Task Force 91 MP, 8th MP Brigade, Multi-National Division - Baghdad, take a break at a student's desk at the Al Tadhia Primary School, in New Baghdad, Feb. 25.  Soldiers of the 340th and local Iraqi Police delivered basic school supplies, donated from state side, to more than 500 student of the school.  Farley, a fourth grade teacher in Brockton, Mass., was instrumental in organizing the mission he named Operation Iraq Tomorrow, and its success.

    BAGHDAD - Staff Sgt. Raymond Wong (left) a New...

    BAGHDAD - Staff Sgt. Raymond Wong (left) a New York City native, and Sgt. Peter Farley, a Middlesboro, Mass. native, both with the 340th Military Police Company, Task Force 91 MP, 8th MP Brigade, Multi-National Division - Baghdad, take a break at a...

  • BAGHDAD - Staff Sgt. Raymond Wong, a New York City native, with the 340th Military Police Company, 91st MP Battalion, 8th MP Brigade, Multi-National Division - Baghdad assists the Iraqi Police in handing out donated school supplies, at the Al Tadhia Primary School, in New Baghdad Feb. 25.

    BAGHDAD - Staff Sgt. Raymond Wong, a New York...

    BAGHDAD - Staff Sgt. Raymond Wong, a New York City native, with the 340th Military Police Company, 91st MP Battalion, 8th MP Brigade, Multi-National Division - Baghdad assists the Iraqi Police in handing out donated school supplies, at the Al Tadhia...

  • BAGHDAD - More than 500 students at Al Tadhia Primary School received school supplies through a collaborated effort by local Iraqi Police and Soldiers from the 340th Military Police Company, Task Force 91 MP, 8th Military Police "Watchdog" Brigade, Multi-National Division - Baghdad, Feb. 25.   Pencils, paper, notebooks, sporting equipment and other basic items were donated to the students through Soldiers of the 340th MP Co. and delivered by New Baghdad Iraqi Police.

    BAGHDAD - More than 500 students at Al Tadhia...

    BAGHDAD - More than 500 students at Al Tadhia Primary School received school supplies through a collaborated effort by local Iraqi Police and Soldiers from the 340th Military Police Company, Task Force 91 MP, 8th Military Police "Watchdog" Brigade...

  • BAGHDAD - New Baghdad Iraqi Police officers transfer boxes of donated school supplies onto their vehicles at the New Baghdad Patrol Station.  The IPs, being assisted by military police Soldiers from the 340th Military Police Company, Task Force 91 MP, 8th Military Police "Watchdog" Brigade, Multi-National Division - Baghdad, later delivered the supplies to more than 500 students at the Al Tadhia Primary School, in New Baghdad Feb. 25.

    BAGHDAD - New Baghdad Iraqi Police officers...

    BAGHDAD - New Baghdad Iraqi Police officers transfer boxes of donated school supplies onto their vehicles at the New Baghdad Patrol Station. The IPs, being assisted by military police Soldiers from the 340th Military Police Company, Task Force 91 MP...

  • BAGHDAD - More than 500 students at Al Tadhia Primary School received school supplies through a collaborated effort by local Iraqi Police and Soldiers from the 340th Military Police Company, Task Force 91 MP, 8th Military Police "Watchdog" Brigade, Multi-National Division - Baghdad, Feb. 25.   Pencils, paper, notebooks, sporting equipment and other basic items were donated to the students through Soldiers of the 340th MP Co. and delivered by New Baghdad Iraqi Police.

    BAGHDAD - More than 500 students at Al Tadhia...

    BAGHDAD - More than 500 students at Al Tadhia Primary School received school supplies through a collaborated effort by local Iraqi Police and Soldiers from the 340th Military Police Company, Task Force 91 MP, 8th Military Police "Watchdog" Brigade...

BAGHDAD - More than 500 students at Al Tadhia Primary School watched as boxes of donated school supplies were distributed at their school Feb. 25, by local Iraqi Police and Soldiers from the 340th Military Police Company, Task Force 91 MP, 8th Military Police "Watchdog" Brigade, Multi-National Division-Baghdad.

The IPs distributed basic school supplies, clothing and sporting equipment to the students to further develop the positive relationships between the IPs and their New Baghdad muhalla, or neighborhood.

"It's something we've always talked about, wanting to do something for the kids in the area that we patrol," said Sgt. Peter Farley, 340th MP Co. Police Transition Team member, and fourth-grade teacher at Hancock Elementary School, in Brockton, Mass.

The collaborative effort among IPs and Soldiers from the 2nd platoon, 340th MP Co., had its roots state side from a program called 'Take a Vet to School Day.'

Farley, a native of Middleboro, Mass. Who took part in the event, asked U.S. school children to focus on the needs of the Iraqi kids instead of himself. With a common desire among other 340th MPs to give, Farley said, "I told them to focus more on donating things to the Iraqi children; notebooks, paper, pens, and crayons."

Through the help of his wife, also an elementary school teacher in the Boston area, along with family and friends of other Soldiers from the 340th MP Co., several boxes of donated supplies began arriving.

"The collection of donated goods was the easy part. [The] hardest thing about the whole operation was to afford mailing the boxes," said Sgt. 1st. Class Sidney Glanz, the platoon sergeant for 2nd Platoon, 340th MP Co., and native of Beacon Falls, Conn.

After receiving more than 50 boxes of donations, coordination and school selection was made by Iraqi Police Lt. Col. Jawad Zubeidi, commander, New Baghdad Patrol Station.

The event, dubbed "Operation Iraq Tomorrow" by Farley, began with the IPs and MPs meeting at the New Baghdad Patrol Station. Large boxes of supplies, often splitting on the sides from their travels, were transferred by the IP and MPs onto IP vehicles. Many of the 500 plus students were found sitting along raised walkways within the school's courtyard. Remaining students were in their class room.

"This is known to be one of the poorest schools in the area. The New Baghdad city councilmen were very thankful that the Al Tadhia Primary School was chosen," said Zubeidi.

The children were frequently heard thanking the IPs in for the supplies they received.

"They were most appreciative of the simple things we often take for granted back home, like a simple pack of pencils, or notebook," Farley said. "The smiles on their faces showed it all."

Highlighting the positive changes he had noticed since the beginning of his current deployment, Glanz continued, "When we first got here, the majority of the streets were barren. There were about half as many people as we saw today. People are definitely more comfortable with the IPs, comfortable in their homes now, comfortable on the streets, and that wasn't so when we first got here."

When the 340th MP Co. first arrived to the area, Glanz said it was a common occurrence for the IP station or local citizens to be attacked at least once a week.

"Now, it's a rarity. The IPs and the people are making it happen," said Glanz.

"Today was definitely a team building experience as well as showing the people that we are working together to help them," said Farley, "The teachers, the faculty, the IPs, everybody worked together and today was just a great positive experience for all involved including us and the Iraqi Police."

"Hopefully we've made a positive impact, too. I feel pretty confident that we did," Farley said.

Page last updated Sun March 8th, 2009 at 16:21