Iraqi children between the ages of two and 12 were recently invited to Forward Operating Base War Eagle to showcase their artistic skills and creativity by painting the concrete walls that surround the installation.

The children live in a village near War Eagle and walk by the walls daily on their way to school, said Capt. Megan Welch, a logistics officer with the 4th Infantry Division's 64th Brigade Support Battalion, adding that the children find the route to school to be a safer way to get there.

The focus of the painting session was to establish a rapport with the adults and younger residents of the village, and provide an opportunity for the children to beautify something they see daily, Welch said.

This is one more effort Multi-National Division Baghdad Soldiers are undertaking to foster a solid relationship with the residents of the village and other Iraqi communities, said Welch. Additionally, the art project allowed the Iraqi children to see the Soldiers as people they can interact with.

The children painted Iraqi and American flags, palm trees, flowers, hearts and other designs.

"The kids who participated had a good time and, for us, it was a good opportunity to interact with them," said Capt. Walter Zurkowsky, executive officer for Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

Welch and her fellow Soldiers organized the day's events and said they hope to host similar activities in the future.

"We had a lot of fun with the kids. It was a good, cooperative, community-building event, and we look forward to seeing many of these in the future," Welch said.

Spc. Joseph Rivera Rebolledo is assigned to the 4th Inf. Div.Aca,!a,,cs 3rd BCT, MND-B Public Affairs Office.