• Louella Simonetti, Babil Provincial Reconstruction Team, passes out shoes donated by Brookstone School in Babil Province Sept. 16.

    A final mission with lasting impact

    Louella Simonetti, Babil Provincial Reconstruction Team, passes out shoes donated by Brookstone School in Babil Province Sept. 16.

  • Two Iraqi girls are all smiles after receiving shoes donated by Brookstone School in Babil Province Sept. 16.  Nearly 1,000 pairs of shoes were collected by Brookstone and distributed throughout five provinces in southern Iraq.

    A final mission with lasting impact

    Two Iraqi girls are all smiles after receiving shoes donated by Brookstone School in Babil Province Sept. 16. Nearly 1,000 pairs of shoes were collected by Brookstone and distributed throughout five provinces in southern Iraq.

  • Capt. Andrew Hubbard, 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, smiles as shoes donated by Brookstone School in Columbus, Ga., are distributed to Iraqi children in Babil Province Sept. 16.

    A final mission with lasting impact

    Capt. Andrew Hubbard, 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, smiles as shoes donated by Brookstone School in Columbus, Ga., are distributed to Iraqi children in Babil Province Sept. 16.

As Soldiers of the 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division prepared to leave the five provinces in southern Iraq they have been responsible for, there was still one last mission to complete.

In coordination with supporters at Brookstone School in Columbus, Ga., Phenix City, Ala., and Fort Benning, Ga., the Soldiers dropped off donated shoes to the children of Iraq.

"There is nothing better than seeing the look on a child's face when you give them something they need," said 1st Lt. Jonathan Roland, 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment. "Even though we don't speak the same language, you can see the excitement."

The project, in coordination with the Babil Provincial Reconstruction Team, started with a modest goal.

"It is an idea based on the partnership between Brookstone School and two local Iraqi schools," said Lt. Col. Jonathan Boston, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd AAB. "When we started, Cindy Sparks (Brookstone School) estimated 50 to 70 pairs of shoes would be donated, but through the efforts of our supporters in the tri-city area and Brookstone School, nearly 1,000 pairs of shoes were donated."

During this deployment, 3rd AAB executed an advise and assist mission while working closely with the Iraqi people.

"For the brigade, it is another example of our enduring partnership," said Boston. "This project takes it one step further; it shows the enduring partnership that exists between Americans and Iraqis."

The partnership started by the 3rd AAB will continue with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.

"The children of Iraq are the future," said Boston. "Our commitment begins with them."

Page last updated Wed September 29th, 2010 at 11:30