• BAGHDAD - Students from the Um Araybia School in western Baghdad show their excitement while they wait for their newly arrived school supplies to be distributed by members of the 2nd Battalion, 112 Infantry Regiment, and the 225th Engineer Brigade, Multi-National Division - Baghdad, April 5. The school supplies were donated by 7th and 11th graders from Catholic High of Pointe Coupee in New Roads, La.

    BAGHDAD - Students from the Um Araybia School...

    BAGHDAD - Students from the Um Araybia School in western Baghdad show their excitement while they wait for their newly arrived school supplies to be distributed by members of the 2nd Battalion, 112 Infantry Regiment, and the 225th Engineer Brigade...

  • BAGHDAD - Sgt. Natasha Green of Alexandria, La., and Chaplain (Maj.) Jeff Mitchell of Baton Rouge, La., both members of the 225th Engineer Brigade, Multi-National Division - Baghdad hand out school supplies to the students at Um Araybia School in western Baghdad, April 5. The school supplies were donated by 7th and 11th graders from Catholic High of Pointe Coupee in New Roads, La.

    BAGHDAD - Sgt. Natasha Green of Alexandria...

    BAGHDAD - Sgt. Natasha Green of Alexandria, La., and Chaplain (Maj.) Jeff Mitchell of Baton Rouge, La., both members of the 225th Engineer Brigade, Multi-National Division - Baghdad hand out school supplies to the students at Um Araybia School in...

  • BAGHDAD - Ventress, La. native, Command Sgt. Maj. Joe Major of the 225th Engineer Brigade, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, enters a classroom at the Um Araybia School in western Baghdad carrying a box of stuffed animals he received via donation from the students of Catholic High of Pointe Coupee in New Roads, La.  Members of the 2nd Battalion, 112 Infantry Regiment, alongside the 225th Eng. Bde., handed out various school supplies to the more than 450 Iraqi elementary students in attendance, April 5.

    BAGHDAD - Ventress, La. native, Command Sgt...

    BAGHDAD - Ventress, La. native, Command Sgt. Maj. Joe Major of the 225th Engineer Brigade, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, enters a classroom at the Um Araybia School in western Baghdad carrying a box of stuffed animals he received via donation from...

BAGHDAD - School children made up of 7th and 11th graders in the small town of New Roads La. might not be old enough to join the military, or old enough to vote, but that does not mean they can't make a difference half a world away in countries such as Iraq.

Students from Catholic High of Pointe Coupee began their endeavor to make a difference by collecting school supplies for the children of Iraq. The Louisiana students amassed backpacks, pencils, notepads, soccer balls, stuffed animals and other school supplies that the children of Iraq need.

The English teacher organizing the drive, Brandy Gosserand, has a unique connection to the children of Iraq. Her father, Command Sgt. Maj. Joe Major of Ventress, La., currently serves here with the 225th Engineer Brigade, Multi-National Division-Baghdad.

Major helped organize the delivery of the donated items to school children in western Baghad.

"As a school teacher, my daughter naturally feels the need to help the children of Iraq," explained Major. "Just like I would expect from my daughter, she crafted a project to teach her students how to share and provide for the needy."

The deployed Louisiana National Guard Unit, 225th Eng. Bde., from Pineville, La. received the more than 14 boxes of supplies for the children. A plan to choose a school and distribute the supplies was formed and on April 5 that plan was executed.

Members of the 2nd Battalion, 112 Infantry Regiment, alongside the 225th Eng. Bde., traveled to the Um Araybia School loaded down with the supplies they had just received from Louisiana, and distributed the goods between the more than 450 Iraqi elementary students who attend the school.

"These supplies are very important for the kids and for their future," said Major. "Seeing the smiles on their faces was worth all the effort."

The sight of the excited young Iraqi children spread contagious smiles for everyone involved in the supply drop, even to the face of their headmaster.

"What happened today brings all of us happiness," said the headmaster. "Happiness for the kids is my happiness."

Page last updated Mon April 6th, 2009 at 16:00