Family of slain Soldier opens hearts to school children
April 8, 2009
FORWARD OPERATING BASE BRASSFIELD-MORA, SAMARRA, Iraq - Coalition forces teamed up with Iraqi Police March 26 to deliver more than 300 backpacks stuffed with school supplies to children in Taraysha. Soldiers from Company A, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, traveled through Moa'tusm, a small town outside Samarra, to the village of Taraysha, to visit with and give gifts to the children in the area. The backpacks, filled not only with school supplies, but also with treats and toys, were sent on behalf of the Hyde family, of Modesto, Calif. 1st Lt. Daniel Hyde was a platoon leader in Company A, and was killed March 7 by an insurgent attack in Samarra. Moa'tusm is an area not accustomed to receiving humanitarian aid from Coalition or Iraqi forces. "The people here feel neglected," said 1st Lt. Nicholas Stavros, 2nd platoon leader in Company A. "We are hoping to reshape their opinion of Iraqi and Coalition forces, and I think we're on a good path to that objective." Sgt. 1st Class Omar Mosely, 2nd platoon's platoon sergeant, expounded on Stavros' statement by saying "We are at a point in this conflict where more and more people are beginning to warm up to us. They used to see us doing the door-kicking thing, but for the last several months, our mission has been primarily humanitarian aid. The people, as well as our Soldiers, definitely prefer the new method." "The commitment the Hyde family has shown to achievement of the long-term goal in Iraq, despite their tragic loss, is exemplary," said Lt. Col. Sam Whitehurst, the battalion commander. "It's that type of support for the mission that makes all the difference, and keeps our Soldiers' heads in the game." The Majd Al-Arab School is the latest in a long line of schools to receive such aid. Citizens from all across the U.S. continually donate care packages destined for U.S. Soldiers as well as the Iraqi people. Capt. Kevin Clarke, the company commander, has already earmarked some 1,000 more backpacks for delivery to additional schools in the area.