FORWARD OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, TIKRIT, Iraq - Multi-National Division -- North Soldiers delivered dozens of humanitarian aid packages to the Bara'ia neighborhood near Samarra March 31.

Soldiers from the Spartan platoon of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, delivered several cases of Halal meals to families in the neighborhood.

"Bara'ia is an extremely impoverished area of Samarra, and local residents are not used to receiving humanitarian aid from government or Coalition forces," said 1st. Lt. Daniel Flynn, the platoon leader. "The last time most of these folks saw people in uniform, they were kicking down doors and arresting people."

The local citizens appeared cautious at first, but quickly warmed up to the Soldiers when it became apparent they were on scene to help.

In addition to food and water, Coalition and ISF delivered several large rolls of plastic, useful in the cultivation of crops. "It is difficult to grow here, sometimes," said Abdul Hassani, a local farmer. "This will help us very much. We are very grateful."

The Bara'ia community is home to two small shops, a makeshift soccer field, and several acres of farmland. Residents do not have access to clean drinking water, and residents draw their water directly from the Tigris River.

The nearby village of Al Rega, where a water treatment facility was recently opened, has pledged to provide assistance to neighboring villages, including Bara'ia.

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