Al KOSH, Iraq - The faces of the seven girls of the Al Kosh Softball Team lit up with joy as they were handed new, bright orange softball team T-shirts by the 27th Brigade Support Battalion May 19.
The sponsor-related program was started by the 296th Brigade Support Battalion before they redeployed to Baghdad, and although they had plans to travel up to hand out the gear themselves, they were not able to be present.
Most of the girls spoke little English but were able to work together to translate how happy they were to receive the new gear. One girl, who said her name was Liza, said the team wanted to thank the Soldiers for helping them.
"We love Soldiers," she grinned. "We have been playing together for two years and this is the first time we look like a team."
Liza explained they had gone to Baghdad a year ago to participate in softball championships, in which they won 3rd place. Their dream though, she explained, was to go to the United States to compete someday.
"We have had passports to go to America for four years but we can't go because of the war," she said.
"Our coach says maybe someday soon we will be able to go, but he's not sure," added Sally, one of Liza's teammates. "I want to go now though!"
The girls spent the afternoon walking around in their new team shirts, working to communicate their appreciation to several of the Soldiers present for the event. They are planning to continue to practice and get better so they can eventually show American's their skills.