Skip to comments.Apache Troop, Iraqis reopen Elementary School
Posted on 09/07/2007 4:29:34 PM PDT by SandRat
BAGHDAD — One of the biggest changes that Capt. Joseph Guzowski has seen since his last deployment here three years ago is the dramatic transformation of the relationships between Coalition forces and the local government leaders in their areas.
“It’s come a long ways since I was here in 2004, (when) you couldn’t even get the neighborhood advisory council (NAC) members to leave the building,” he said. “They didn’t even want to show up to meetings.”
The Buffalo, N.Y., native, who is the commander of Troop A, 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, said that the turnaround has been due to improvements in the security situations and has allowed a very rewarding partnership to blossom.
“We work hand-in-hand with the NAC, and these guys are taking a vested interest in their neighborhoods now,” he explained. “They’re free to walk around and do things with us and not afraid to be seen with us; so it’s come a long ways in about three years.”
In Baghdad’s Kindi and Salhiyah neighborhoods, which 4-9 Cav.’s Soldiers operate in, the payoff in this improved relationship is most evident in the number of schools that have been renovated and reopened over the past several months.
“The squadron’s focus is that we’re trying to get every school in our area of operations (AO) renovated in some way,” Guzowski said, “and just trying to foster a better environment for the kids (here).”
To date, six schools have been reopened for the upcoming school year. This includes the most recent one, Salhiyah’s Al Aflaph Elementary School, which was reopened after a month-and-a half long renovation process, Sept. 1.
According to the school’s deputy director, Humood, both the inside and outside of the school was littered with glass and debris after a mortar round hit the building last spring.
“All the windows were broken out and people stopped having their children come to school here because they were scared from the glass or that it was going to get hit again,” Humood said.
Along with cleaning up the grounds and repairing the damaged wall, he said that the school was repainted, air conditioning was added, bathrooms were repaired and an Internet room with 12 brand new computers was created.
He said many of the neighborhood’s children live near the school and have watched the rebuilding effort with a great deal of anticipation.
“They’ve been stopping over here to see what’s going on, and they have been very, very impressed with what’s going on in the school. And when they return they are going to be very happy,” Humood said.
Ali Jamil Latif, the contractor whose company worked on the school, said that anytime his company gets a contract to work on a school it’s special.
“The most important thing for me is serving the students, and also I’m helping the community and making things better and better,” he said. “It’s going to be a great place for the students to study.”
The school provides educational services to nearly 1,300 students and will resume classes Oct. 1.
Guzowski said that his Troop will work with the Salhiyah NAC to refurbish three more schools in the next three months, and that the investment in the educational system will benefit the neighborhood for years to come.
“It feels great,” he said. “I love seeing the kids in the community happy. What makes them happy, makes us happy and makes it safer for everyone. So it’s a good feeling.”
How it must gripe the left to see this type of thing!
You know they don’t trust it. You know they think it’s 100% propaganda. You know they are angry to see it.
Heh heh heh, way to go troops. Winning two battles at a time...
and they don’t see it because the LSM won’t cover it.
Thanks for another great report!!!!!!.......
You know what, if Katie Couric started covering stuff like this and showing our troops for their dedication to duty and the excellent job they are doing, I would tune in to see it.
Too bad though, their too lame to see it.
Woops. Wrong Apache came to mind when I read the headline...
I see they teach the field hockey game OH MAN I haven’t play since the 1980s LOL!
“Foosball, you bet!”
That dude was in the Hekawi tribe ("Where the heck are we?")