• Capt. Carrie Ward, a Platte City, Mo., native and trial counselor for 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), passes out gifts to children during a visit to the school here April 12. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley, 15th Sustainment Brigade public affairs)

    Capt. Carrie Ward, a Platte City, Mo., native...

    Capt. Carrie Ward, a Platte City, Mo., native and trial counselor for 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), passes out gifts to children during a visit to the school here April 12. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew C...

  • Maj. Scott Wadyko, a Jacksonville, Fla., native and 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), deputy operations officer, plays soccer with a local Iraqi boy during a visit to the school here April, 12. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley, 15th Sustainment Brigade public affairs)

    Maj. Scott Wadyko, a Jacksonville, Fla., native...

    Maj. Scott Wadyko, a Jacksonville, Fla., native and 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), deputy operations officer, plays soccer with a local Iraqi boy during a visit to the school here April, 12. (U.S. Army photo by...

  • Col. Larry Phelps, a Greenville, Ala., native, and commander of 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), passes out soccer balls to children during a visit to the school here April 12. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley, 15th Sustainment Brigade public affairs)

    Col. Larry Phelps, a Greenville, Ala., native...

    Col. Larry Phelps, a Greenville, Ala., native, and commander of 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), passes out soccer balls to children during a visit to the school here April 12. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew...

  • Chavo, the native Iraqi interpreter for 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), talks to local children while they take gifts from the unit during a visit to the school here April 12. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley, 15th Sustainment Brigade public affairs)

    Chavo, the native Iraqi interpreter for 15th...

    Chavo, the native Iraqi interpreter for 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), talks to local children while they take gifts from the unit during a visit to the school here April 12. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew...

JEDELLAH SOFLA, Iraq - Soldiers of the 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), brought soccer balls, jump ropes, sports drinks, stuffed animals, notebooks, and various other toys and school supplies to the children here April 12.

The Fort Hood-based logistics unit operates primarily out of the nearby Contingency Operating Location Q-West and regularly visits the village to bring supplies and gifts to the people, especially the children, as a gesture of goodwill.

For some of the Soldiers, like Spc. Jeff Stewart, a Schaunburg, Ill., native and all source intelligence analyst for 15th Sust. Bde., the trip was a rare chance to leave their office and mingle with their Iraqi neighbors.

"A lot of people in a unit like this might not feel like they help the Iraqis," Stewart said, explaining how he and others often don't see how their jobs affect the Iraqi people.

"Every Soldier should do what we did even if only for ten minutes. Just giving a binder to a little girl and seeing her smile - it makes the whole deployment worthwhile," he said.

Stewart expressed his hope that the Iraqi children would positively remember when the American Soldiers came with gifts and said that doing so made him feel like he made a difference.

For Master Sgt. Celia Feller, a Farmington, N.M., native and the brigade's day battle noncommissioned officer in charge, this was her second trip to visit the children of Jedellah Sofla.

"It's a rare opportunity as well as an eye opener," she said, claiming that it helped to remind her of how fortunate Americans are to have the opportunities that they do.

Feller, like Stewart, said that her job didn't allow her to leave the base very often to see how the average Iraqi lives and enjoyed the chance to help people. She also explained how this and other experiences service members may have while in Iraq can help them grow, such as exposure to a different culture.

"I think it's awesome we're able to provide them school supplies and things that will help them along the way and maybe put a smile on their face," Feller said. "I'm glad that our command supports the foundation of the future."

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