FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, KIRKUK, Iraq- The small mud and straw primary school in the village of Albu Sabah in Kirkuk province, Iraq, often lacks the necessary supplies the children need.

To address these concerns, the Iraqi Army, with assistance from Soldiers of 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, delivered school supplies to approximately 40 children at the school Nov. 9.

They will make all the students feel happy," said Hasan Abdullah Hussein, the village leader. "This is the first time our village has received supplies like this."

The supplies do more than assist the children with their school work; they also improve the relationship between the IA and the village residents.

"When we first arrived, students were afraid of us," explained one Iraqi Army officer. "But then they saw we had supplies, they understood that we were here to help them."

No one was really giving this school any attention until the IA started coming here and visiting, he explained.

"After [IA] arrived in the village, we started building a relationship, and working really closely with them, so they understood the basic needs of this area, and one of those is for school supplies," explained Hasan.

According to the IA, these school supplies make a substantial impact on the ability of the school to teach the children.

"This is a great job to have," he said. "We are supporting students and supporting our country."

During the visit, Hasan was excited about all of the contributions the IA has done for his village.

"After the IA started working here, we started getting contractors back, because they felt safer," said Hasan.

Hasan said that since the IA began working in his village, a new road was constructed through the village, making it easier for residents to transit. The IA soldiers have also listened to his concerns about building a new school for the children, and a new source of water for the village.

"Everything is being changed, changed for the better," he said with a smile.

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