BAGHDAD - To improve ties with the people of Iraq, Soldiers from 1192nd Engineer Company, 101st Engineer Battalion, delivered clothes and food Jan. 10 to families living in Area Four, an Iraqi Special Forces training base on Victory Base Complex.
Besides canned goods, books, hygiene items and magazines for the adults, the Soldiers also handed out stuffed animals, cards, balls, coloring books, pens, pencils, crayons, glue and other school supplies to the children.
The importance of the gesture wasn't lost on the young ones.
"The kids were smiling and excited when they saw the truck," said Sgt. 1st Class David Zika, from Norwalk, Ohio. "They knew that there was something there for them. They were appreciative."
Among the goods were about 45 packets of candy. The candy and school supplies were donated from Lakota High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, and members of 1192nd and proved to be a favorite draw by some of the Soldiers.
"I liked giving the candy to the kids. It shows them that we're here to help," said Sgt. 1st Class John Botts, of Cincinnati, Ohio, 1192nd Eng. Co. "This was one of the better days that I've had in theater."
This was the 1192nd's second time visiting Iraqi children and their families. The Soldiers said they like doing this because it gives them an opportunity to interact with the families, and provides them with useful supplies. And instead of having excess items from care packages sent during the holidays, the engineers figured the families could use a helping hand.
"There are a couple of little shops, but no grocery store for the families to go and get the things that they need," said Staff Sgt. John Scott from Warren, Ohio, 1192nd Eng. Co.
The Soldiers said they plan to go back to Area Four as soon as they can accumulate more items to hand out; especially candy.
"It's fun to see the smiles on their faces when they see us," said Scott; another way that engineers continue to help the people of Iraq.

Page last updated Mon January 18th, 2010 at 07:15