Soldiers Bring Goodwill To Iraqis
(August 30, 2009)
Army Cpl. Dale L. Comella, a medic with 17th Fires Brigade's personnel security detachment, speaks with Iraqi children during a humanitarian aid drop coordinated by the Iraqi army, 17th Fires Brigade and the 4th Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, Aug. 18, 2009.
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE BASRA, Iraq, Aug. 24, 2009 – Along
with their Iraqi counterparts, U.S. soldiers from the 17th Fires Brigade and the
4th Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team handed out food and supplies to
residents of Faddaqhryah and Bahar, Iraq, Aug. 18.
The U.S. soldiers aided in the humanitarian mission to help the Iraqi army to
provide urgent humanitarian assistance and lay the groundwork for a lasting
relationship between Iraq's soldiers and its people, said Army Lt. Col. Ross. C.
Scott, 17th Fires Brigade civil affairs officer.
Scott said the Iraqi army delivered more than 400 packages at an estimated cost
of $90,000. Each package will feed a family of eight for 30 days.
The U.S. patrol, made up of civil affairs and personnel security soldiers, left
here early to link up in the Iraqi villages with their counterparts from the
14th Iraqi Army Division. In each village, the Iraqi and U.S. soldiers were met
with welcoming, hopeful looks from local elders and heads of families and
curious, smiling faces of children. |
“This is really helpful to us,” said Abod, one of hundreds of Faddaqhryah
residents who lined up to collect food. “Since Ramadan is coming, we thank God
for all of this. I have nine family members that all these supplies will benefit
The Iraqi soldiers were pleased to be part of such a mission.
“This is really nice. We're here helping these people who are poor and need
these supplies,” said Krarr Haidar, an Iraqi soldier. “Also, there are large
families where no one in the household is working; these supplies benefit them
Although the Iraqi army was in the lead for the mission, the 17th Fires
Brigade's personnel security detachment provided additional security for the
“It seems as though the [Iraqi army] is becoming completely self-sufficient by
the way they handled this event in a professional matter,” said Army Cpl. Dale
L. Comella, a medic with 17th Fires Brigade Headquarters and Headquarters
Battery, Personnel Security Detachment. “Overall, I was impressed with the
organization of the mission and the gratitude from the [local people]. We are
trained to think that the threat is always out there, so to come in contact with
these people who were so inviting and welcoming was a whole different experience
An Iraqi secondary school teacher expressed gratitude for the mission. “We're so
happy that the soldiers are here to help,” the Bahar resident said. “We have no
hospitals close by, so if we get sick we must travel far. Also, our water isn't
drinkable, which is why we are very grateful that the soldiers are bringing us
A personal security detachment squad leader noted how far the Iraqi soldiers
have come. “The Iraqi army has made tremendous strides toward providing for
their people,” said Army Staff Sgt. Samuel G. Ward. “We used to have to pull a
lot of our own security, but now we're in a supervisory role where we'll aid
them by pointing out something we notice, and they'll take charge in securing
“They're setting up their own operations,” he continued. “They're clearly
running their own show. We're just here just to point them in the right
Article and photo by Army Spc. Maurice A. Galloway
17th Fires Brigade
American Forces Press Service
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