BAGHDAD - First Team troopers set a milestone at the Zoba High School, June 4, during a ground breaking ceremony to improve the school for the betterment of the children and community of Zoba.

"The project is an investment in the young people of Zoba and all of Iraq," said Maj. Jeffrey Schrick, a native of Fredrick, Okla., and commander of 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, which is currently attached to 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. "The young people here in Zoba and Iraq are the future of this nation," he added.

The children will one day be the decision makers who will continue to help this nation grow. Because of the improved security and the Iraqi Security Agreement more projects can be made to improve rural areas, according to Schrick.

"The Coalition forces have been focused on the cities so far," said Staff Sgt. Brian Kaufman, a Marcelous, N.Y. native and civil affairs team sergeant assigned to A Company, 403rd Civil Affairs Battalion. "Since the CF are moving out of the cities, we can spend more time making improvements in agriculture and rural areas like we are now making here in Zoba," he added.

U.S. forces gave eight micro grants to local contractors to assist them in making improvements in the Zoba community. Micro grants provide assistance for projects that may not otherwise happen.

"A water pump station will be built to bring clean drinking water to the community and an irrigation project is also expected to be completed to help the farming communities, said Schrick. "We are also going to try and have the windows and electricity fixed at the Zoba High School before the next school session starts to give the kids a new beginning in a new school," he added.

The ground breaking investments ceremony in Zoba is a direct result of the improved security here in Iraq and the Iraqi Security Agreement. The Iraq Security Agreement states that all CF will be out of the cities of Iraq by the end of June, which will allow the CF to focus on the future of Iraq. Children are the best resource to make those investments that will have a lasting effect on the country.