TAJI, Iraq Aca,!" Teamwork between Pennsylvania National Guard Soldiers and three local Iraqi sheikhs led to a June 4 distribution of essential supplies to two local schools, north of Baghdad.

Although philanthropy is not a part of the unitsAca,!a,,c stated mission, Soldiers from the 328th Brigade Support Battalion and 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Multi-National DivisionAca,!"Baghdad managed to accumulate several boxes of supplies by appealing to private citizens and organizations back in the United States

Iraqi Army and police officers provided security as over 320 children received school materials and hygiene items. The American soldiers found themselves driven to help local schoolchildren.

Aca,!A"Every kid got something today,Aca,!A? said Lt. Steven DeSanzo, of Ellwood City, Pa., of Company B, 1st Bn., 112th Inf. Regt.

After coordinating with Sheikhs Awad, Naif, and Yasin, the U.S. troops were able to offload the supplies at the al-Bowasick and al-Boreyap schools.

The students were given handbills to assist in identifying personnel and groups wanted by regional authorities. They were also given instructions on how to inform their local police officers.

The Pennsylvania National Guard Soldiers involved in the effort said most of the children present are too young to fully comprehend the reasons behind the conflict in their nation but said selfless acts like these will ensure that the children will have positive memories of the United States and its Soldiers.

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