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Soldiers adopt village with educational results
CJTF7 ^ | Dec. 28, 2003

Posted on 12/29/2003 12:58:48 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl

CJTF-7 Public Affairs
BAGHDAD, Iraq
Release #031228i

Soldiers adopt village with educational results


MOSUL, IraqThe children and schools of one northern Iraqi village have benefited by being adopted by soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
 

The soldiers of Crusader Battery, 1st Battalion, 377th Field Artillery Regiment, attached to the 101st, adopted the small Assyrian-Christian village of Karmless and began Operation Provide Classroom Comfort when they saw the deplorable conditions in the village’s schools.

“Classrooms were in a state of disaster and by any American building code standard would have been condemned,” said Capt. Mark Sherkey, company commander.

The condition of the pre-school, secondary school and two primary schools made for an environment where the students were more focused on staying warm then learning. Many classrooms had no doors, leaving the children to the mercy of the weather.

“During our visit in December, students sat shoulder-to-shoulder, wrapped in whatever winter gear they could, to stay warm,” Sherkey said. “If a student is cold and tired and there’s no chalkboard, then he can’t learn.”

Using more than $50,000 acquired from the 101st Division Artillery Commander’s Emergency Relief Fund, the soldiers of Crusader Battery began the task of making the schools a more conducive environment for learning, Sherkey said.

“Our number one focus regarding this project is the winterization of classrooms,” he said. “Once we repair the basic necessities we believe teachers and students alike will be in a comfortable environment where learning will flourish and suffering will diminish.”

The local contractors and laborers used for the operation were hired from the village population. Many of them also worked at the Crusader base in the city of Mosul.

The workers quickly set themselves to the job of building bathrooms and repairing existing ones. A few of the schools had no running water at all, in others a complete renovation of the building plumbing system was needed. The contractors also built doors and chalkboards for the classrooms, Sherkey said.
 

Crusader Battery did more then just rebuild and refurbish the schools. They also used their connections in America to have school supplies sent to Karmless. Soldiers appealed to schools and people to send as much as they could. The result included schools from all over America who sent boxes of supplies, Sherkey said.
 

1st Lt. Iven Sugai, 2nd platoon leader, Crusader Battery, is a Hawaii Pacific University alumnus. He used his alumni connections to have the school donate boxes of pens, pencils, paper, notebooks and other items.

Besides colleges and high schools, private citizens in Maryland, Virginia, Texas, Kentucky, California and almost 10 other states sent in items.

So far, Operation Provide Classroom Comfort has received boxes full of items, like chalk, a two-year supply of National Geographic, textbooks, world maps and computers, Sherkey said.

The soldiers have coordinated to continue the operation even after Crusader Battery has left the country.

“The best thing about this project is that even when we leave it will still keep going,” Sherkey said.

In addition to providing school supplies, the troops also funded the construction of a playground for the village pre-school, with swings, a seesaw and a merry-go-round. The citizens of the village are pleased with the work that has been done to the schools.

“We are very glad,” said Farag Pouleef Yousef, a resident of Karmless village. “We appreciate the work they’ve done.”

“We’re glad because school is the base of things and we want classroom comfort,” seconded Ismael Mathews, also a resident of the village.

The soldiers of Crusader Battery feel that ensuring the educational future of the children of Karmless village is time well spent. They know that they’re not just helping the students learn, they are also cementing positive ties between Americans and Iraqis.

“Our presence changes the course of anti-American sentiment and begins the building process of an American-Iraqi coalition for bettering Iraq,” Sherkey said.
 



TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 101stairborne; american; centcom; champions; cjtf7; coalition; freedom; gnfi; goodguys; iraq; military; peacemakers; schoolhouse; terrorism

1 posted on 12/29/2003 12:58:49 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: MJY1288; Calpernia; Grampa Dave; anniegetyourgun; Ernest_at_the_Beach; BOBTHENAILER; ...
The soldiers of Crusader Battery, 1st Battalion, 377th Field Artillery Regiment, attached to the 101st, adopted the small Assyrian-Christian village of Karmless and began Operation Provide Classroom Comfort when they saw the deplorable conditions in the village’s schools.

During our visit in December, students sat shoulder-to-shoulder, wrapped in whatever winter gear they could, to stay warm,” Sherkey said.

The local contractors and laborers used for the operation were hired from the village population.

.....colleges and high schools, private citizens in Maryland, Virginia, Texas, Kentucky, California and almost 10 other states sent in items.

The soldiers have coordinated to continue the operation even after Crusader Battery has left the country.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Crusader Battery, 1st Battalion, 377th Field Artillery Regiment, attached to the 101st Airborne, veering off the plan again, ping!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you want on or off my Pro-Coalition ping list, please Freepmail me. Warning: it is a high volume ping list on good days. (Most days are good days).

2 posted on 12/29/2003 12:59:58 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl ( "Our military is full of the finest people on the face of the earth." ~ Pres. Bush, Baghdad)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Crusader Battery, 1st Battalion, 377th Field Artillery Regiment, attached to the 101st Airborne, veering off the plan again ~ Bump!
3 posted on 12/29/2003 1:01:57 PM PST by blackie
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Too bad we couldn't use their talents in our inner city schools.

Carolyn

4 posted on 12/29/2003 1:06:55 PM PST by CDHart
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To: CDHart
Too bad we couldn't use their talents in our inner city schools. Carolyn

we could but then it would only serve to embarass the "saddams" and baath party of our public schools....

5 posted on 12/29/2003 1:14:54 PM PST by Nat Turner
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
If anyone is interested, please check-out this website. There are many Iraqis on there who support what they call the "honest Resistance", you know - killing our boys!

http://www.4iraqis.com/viewtopic.php?t=4273
6 posted on 12/29/2003 1:36:40 PM PST by AmericanBabe
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To: AmericanBabe
Bad Iraqis and their thug allies aren't welcome on the good news threads...unless they're discussing plans, naming names, locations...for our much more capable, numerous, dedicated, and courageous troops and Iraqi allies to use to hunt them down.

(^:

7 posted on 12/29/2003 3:20:24 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl ( "Our military is full of the finest people on the face of the earth." ~ Pres. Bush, Baghdad)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Bump!
8 posted on 12/29/2003 8:53:37 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Bump!
9 posted on 12/30/2003 3:20:37 AM PST by windchime (Podesta about Bush: "He's got four years to try to undo all the stuff we've done." (TIME-1/22/01))
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
BUMP!
10 posted on 12/30/2003 3:52:40 AM PST by radu (May God watch over our troops and keep them safe)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
But I think they are! There are Iraqis on that website who advocate violence and death against our boys. There are a few Americans who post on there that are trying to show them how stupid this behavior is, but they are far outnumbered.

I posted the link in an effort to ask the good people here, if they have the time, to go there and show these Iraqis how wrong this behavior is.
11 posted on 12/30/2003 5:50:07 AM PST by AmericanBabe
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To: blackie
i guess that would be my soldier of C/1-377th FAR veering off the path...helping children in the name of education and a better future...
12 posted on 01/04/2004 2:18:45 PM PST by sincere
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To: blackie
i guess that would be my soldier of C/1-377th FAR veering off the path...helping children in the name of education and a better future...
13 posted on 01/04/2004 2:18:47 PM PST by sincere
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To: sincere
Perfect!!!
14 posted on 01/04/2004 4:21:01 PM PST by blackie
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To: sincere
Winning the hearts and minds!!
15 posted on 01/04/2004 4:21:48 PM PST by blackie
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Why hasn't this story been reported on SeeBS News and ABCIA News?

/sarcasm

16 posted on 01/04/2004 4:25:45 PM PST by Prince Charles
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To: AmericanBabe
Any Iraqi advocating violence against our courageous troops ~ who fight and die for strangers far from home, who liberated the Iraqi people from a monster who fed women to lions for sport, and mass-executed his opponents ~ doesn't qualify as a 'debate partner', imho.

The only good use for the site...for our intel guys to identify and hunt down anyone who still sides with Saddam and against our troops.

I wouldn't waste a moment of time on them. Prayer, maybe...but only after prayers and efforts for our troops. Fortunately, that takes up most of my time.

17 posted on 01/04/2004 5:20:54 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl ("You have to be proud of your army. They are fighters for freedom." ~ A free Iraqi to America)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
I truly hope our intelligence agencies are top of this one. I'm certain some of them have contacts in Iraq and are funneling money and information to them.

My prayers are always with our boys there :)
18 posted on 01/04/2004 8:27:57 PM PST by AmericanBabe
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