Skip to comments.Helping the next generation
Posted on 09/15/2006 5:01:09 PM PDT by SandRat
Stopping through during Operation Rubicon, Marines assigned to the 2nd Marine Regiment met with neighborhood kids in this small city near the border with Syria to show them there is a bright future for Iraq.
With the water treatment facility in the town damaged by insurgents, the Marines handed out potable water to children and their families.
It puts things in perspective, said Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Adam R. Brandon, a hospital corpsman from Nacogdoches, Texas. In the States everybodys got running water. But here, some children do not have running water or water that is safe to drink.
Williams said he was glad he could make a difference.
If everybody goes out their way just a little bit to put forth a positive image, it will stop insurgency some and help in the long run, he said.
The Marines, U.S. Army Soldiers and a Sailor stopped at homes throughout the city to find out how they could help the local children. The ordinarily gruff Marines often traded stares for smiles when they came around the kids.
You do it for the kids, said Sgt. Jeffrey J. Swartzenfruber, a rifleman from Coral Springs, Fla.
He said the children tend to remember the candy, high-fives and handshakes they get from the troops.
One visit, in particular, stuck out for Marines in the unit. Invited in for refreshments by a woman who was an English teacher and mother of two, the Marines were charmed by her two-year-old son.
I thought he was the cutest kid, Grant said.
He described seeing a reason for staying on in the childs eyes.
His mom is teaching him English so hell grow up doing something good for his country or the people that are around him, Grant said.
He noted the boys mother hoped he would help change the future for his neighbors and even his country. She hoped he would be part of the next generation of Iraqis who stand alongside American forces for a future free of terrorism.
Brandon said he was similarly touched by the child, reminded as he was of his own children and family.
When we went into that house it brought me closer to home, he said, noting the visit helped narrow a mental gap between himself and the Iraqi people.
Staff Sgt. Timothy Hanson, a platoon sergeant from Piedmont, Ala., summed up the teams emotions:
You feel you can provide for these kids the same way you can for yours, because theyre no different.
Reminds me of my boys before they turned into teen-agers.
God Bless our Troops.
Thank you SandRat. You don't see these articles anywhere but here. It's great to see the kids and troops enjoy each others company.