By Pfc. Kissta M. Feldner, 2BCT PAOFebruary 7, 2010
PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI - At about 6 a.m., hundreds of Haitian women were already lined up and down the street, food vouchers in hand, waiting for the gate of Distribution Point 15 to open, to receive a bag of rice that could feed their families for weeks.
Paratroopers with Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division continued to partner with Jordanian United Nations soldiers to secure a World Food Program distribution point in Port-au-Prince, Feb. 6. For the past four days, the troopers have patrolled the area surrounding the site with the Jordanians, keeping order and ensuring that the site is ran efficiently and peacefully.
Today, however, American forces stood back, allowing the Jordanian soldiers to take charge of the site. U.N. soldiers secured the front gate and exit, directed World Food Program volunteers during preparation for the distribution and assisted the Haitian women while gathering their 110 lb. bags of rice. Troopers assisted at the entrance and exit and guarded damaged parts of the compound's walls.
"We're letting the Jordanians take more control and helping out when we're needed," said Sgt. Greg Meyers, a native of Springfield, Ohio and forward observer with HHC, 2BCT.
The U.N. forces have a good working relationship with volunteers of the Save the Children Foundation, Meyers said. The volunteers, who were accepting food vouchers from locals at the front gate, feel safe working at the compound with the Jordanians there, ensuring that only those with vouchers color-coded for the correct day entered, he said.
"(The Jordanians) have been doing a lot of the work," said 1st Sgt. Kevin Spooner, first sergeant of HHC, 2BCT. "They've been running this thing from the get-go."
Pfc. Dan Feola, a native of Spring Hill, Fl. and forward observer with HHC, 2BCT said he enjoyed working with the Jordanians and feels confident in their ability to carry on after 2BCT troops travel back to Fort Bragg, N.C.
"I think the U.N. will continue providing the service and food the people need."