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Soldiers improving lives of Iraqi children
Multi-National Forces-Iraq ^ | Spc. Allison Churchill

Posted on 10/08/2006 6:33:32 PM PDT by SandRat

Two Iraqi girls pose with stuffed animals they received after being treated at the Civil Military Operations Center clinic on the Radwaniya Palace Complex.  Photo taken by Spc. Allison Churchill, Fires Brigade, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs.
Two Iraqi girls pose with stuffed animals they received after being treated at the Civil Military Operations Center clinic on the Radwaniya Palace Complex. Photo taken by Spc. Allison Churchill, Fires Brigade, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs.
CAMP LIBERTY — In the midst of moving barriers and taking part in other logistics missions throughout Baghdad, Soldiers from one support brigade are working on leaving a personal impression on Iraqi citizens.

The Soldiers from 589th Brigade Support Battalion, Fires Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, have collected and delivered clothes, toys and other items to the clinic at the Civil Military Operations Center in the Radwaniya Palace Complex for nearly six months.

The effort started when Staff Sgt. Valrica Pollard, re-enlistment and medical logistics noncommissioned officer-in-charge, 589th Brigade Support Battalion, met Soldiers with the 414th Civil Affairs Battalion, out of Utica, N.Y., who were living and working near 589th BSB Soldiers.

Pollard had received a box of toys and said she and her colleagues were interested in adopting a school or getting involved in the community in some other way.

The 414th CA Bn. Soldiers took Pollard, a native of Akron, Ohio, to the clinic, where a local Iraqi doctor teamed with U.S. military doctors to treat local nationals. After the Iraqis were treated, they were presented supplies from the donations.

Staff Sgt. Valrica Pollard (middle), re-enlistment and medical logistics noncommissioned officer-in-charge, 589th Brigade Support Battalion, Fires Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, plays with a little boy at the Civil Military Operations Center clinic at the Radwaniya Palace Complex.
Staff Sgt. Valrica Pollard (middle), re-enlistment and medical logistics noncommissioned officer-in-charge, 589th Brigade Support Battalion, Fires Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, plays with a little boy at the Civil Military Operations Center clinic at the Radwaniya Palace Complex.
After her first visit, Pollard said she sprang to action, writing to family and friends for more supplies. She talks about the CMOC everywhere she goes, especially when she runs into Soldiers from her former units.

“Even when she was on Environmental Morale Leave, she was meeting with people and churches to get supplies sent over,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Taylor, 589th BSB, a native of Lexington, Ky., who has visited the clinic several times with Pollard.

Pollard also encouraged her fellow Soldiers to solicit supplies and accompany her on trips to the clinic.

“She just kept asking me,” said Capt. Annette Whittenberger, commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 589th BSB.

Whittenberger, a native of Simi Valley, Calif., said her mother sent a big box of toys. She has twice visited the clinic with Pollard.

“It was pretty exciting,” said Whittenberger. “I got to see the kids and their parents and how the whole thing operates.”

Pollard said she visits the clinic whenever she gets a chance, usually about every other weekend. After turning in the boxes of goodies, she likes to play with the Iraqi children, who get excited about new toys and the animated movies playing in the waiting area.

“Regardless of what your purpose is, you have a good feeling that you did your part,” said Pollard.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: children; improve; iraq; lives; soldiers

1 posted on 10/08/2006 6:33:32 PM PDT by SandRat
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To: 91B; HiJinx; Spiff; MJY1288; xzins; Calpernia; clintonh8r; TEXOKIE; windchime; Grampa Dave; ...
FR WAR NEWS!

WAR News You'll Hear Nowhere Else!

All the News the MSM refuses to use!

2 posted on 10/08/2006 6:33:55 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

Is this the job of a US soldier?

It is sweet but it enrages me.


3 posted on 10/08/2006 6:40:38 PM PDT by cajungirl (no)
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To: SandRat
God Bless our brave Troops! Dam Dem's would rather cut and run, and see those children killed. Nov 7th seals the fate for our Troops. Get out and Vote!
4 posted on 10/08/2006 6:41:06 PM PDT by ChicagoConservative27
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To: SandRat
"...Soldiers improving lives of Iraqi children..."

Whaaaaaaaaaaaat??????? But...but...I thought our soldiers were TERRORIZING and KILLING them? WHERE do you get your obviously propagandic information...

/s

5 posted on 10/08/2006 6:44:03 PM PDT by rlmorel (Islamofacism: It is all fun and games until someone puts an eye out. Or chops off a head.)
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To: cajungirl

In the modern world, yes. It IS the job of the American soldier. Don't let it enrage you...these people are the face of America to many parts of the world...it is either that or Hollywood, and I will choose the American Military any day of the week.


6 posted on 10/08/2006 6:46:45 PM PDT by rlmorel (Islamofacism: It is all fun and games until someone puts an eye out. Or chops off a head.)
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To: SandRat
Good pics. Thanks.
7 posted on 10/08/2006 6:57:01 PM PDT by kinoxi (.)
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To: rlmorel

The world will hate or admire us without turning an army into social workers.

I would rather soldiers shoot, bomb, scare and command respect. I want the world to tremble at the thought of the US army arriving.

I want fear and respect from the world. Frankly they may never like us. They envy us. And our soldiers joined up to fight and defend us. Not deliver toys.

They are not our PR specialists.

Just my opinion of course.


8 posted on 10/08/2006 6:58:38 PM PDT by cajungirl (no)
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To: cajungirl



Yes, it is. Because you can't win a war with only guns.


9 posted on 10/08/2006 7:00:15 PM PDT by LauraleeBraswell (Try reading the article before you post)
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To: LauraleeBraswell

Ah, the "hearts and minds war",,it really helped us in VN didn't it?

Of course you need more than guns. But war really hasn't changed much other than the technology.

You need guns, bombs, antiaircraft carriers. drones, marines, things that blow up big stuff.

Soldiers delivering toys is nice but not war. And I don't think it is winning anyone's heart.


10 posted on 10/08/2006 7:02:11 PM PDT by cajungirl (no)
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To: cajungirl

I respect your opinion, since many people feel as you do, but, actually...the members of the US Military ARE our PR. There are many, many people around the world whose only exposure to an actual American is a Soldier or Sailor of the US Military.

And they do command respect. The battle hardened US Marines practice PR, because they know that is the way to go. And you better believe their opponents fear them greatly, for good reason.

Lately, the unofficial motto of the Marines, after "Semper Fidelis" is "No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy".

In this world of media and Internet, the US Soldier has a more demanding job than ever before. They can change the world in an instant with a miscalculation, because it all gets out there to the world so quickly. And they all have training on how to deal with it.


11 posted on 10/08/2006 7:08:51 PM PDT by rlmorel (Islamofacism: It is all fun and games until someone puts an eye out. Or chops off a head.)
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To: cajungirl
The world will hate or admire us without turning an army into social workers.

I bet you're too young to remember stories of GIs and chocolate bars...and the good will that brought us all over the world.

12 posted on 10/08/2006 7:11:21 PM PDT by paulat
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To: rlmorel

I guess I feel pessimistic than no matter what we do, no matter how decent and generaous we are,,people in that part of the world dance when we die.

It hardens me. Lately I don't care what the rest of the world thinks. I feel like an ancient Roman. I just want blood of our enemies.


13 posted on 10/08/2006 7:12:13 PM PDT by cajungirl (no)
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To: paulat

My dear, I am ancient. We conquered people like us. The world was much different.

I was born at the onset of WWII.


14 posted on 10/08/2006 7:13:18 PM PDT by cajungirl (no)
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To: cajungirl
I just want blood of our enemies.

Then ENLIST...it's a volunteer fighting force.

15 posted on 10/08/2006 7:13:46 PM PDT by paulat
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To: paulat

Ah, you posted before I posted. I am about to turn 65, am grey haired and wrinkled.

The enlisting officer would get a kick out of it I do believe.


16 posted on 10/08/2006 7:14:57 PM PDT by cajungirl (no)
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To: cajungirl

Well, short of prosecuting absolute war (which Clausewitz posits as unreasonable) what we're doing makes perfect sense. While I must say the ROP is like a rabid dog which must be put down, it's simply not feasible to suppress the islamic world through force (against unless we want to do things the absolute way).

Were we to "cry havoc," all we'd accomplish is pissing off people at home (and considering that our military is subordinate to civilian authority that's not something we'd want to do), alienating other countries in our coalition, pissing off the survivors (kinda like Rome's subjugation of the Iberian peninsula--sure they eventually gained full control, but at a pretty stiff price).

You mention that we need war materiel and vehicles. Well, we'd also need men and women to used them. In today's media-drenched world how many young people are going to answer the call to deliver a world of hurt on people both innocent and bad (that's what tends to happen when you "blow up big stuff"). Sure maybe in the future more things will be automated, but as of right now we don't have the manpower available to take on the entire islamic world.

Sure it's nice to have a big stick and to be able to use it, but often the carrot is the more economical and reasonable option.

I agree that we've been to soft in our prosecution of this war (i.e. not ensuring there's no safe haven for insurgents, punishing Syria and Iran for their meddling, offing mookie, using harsher methods when necessary), but this isn't one of the things I'd criticize.

BTW, I want an "antiaircraft carrier" whatever that is. ;)


17 posted on 10/08/2006 7:28:37 PM PDT by Constantine XI Palaeologus ("Vicisti, Galilaee")
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To: cajungirl

"I just want blood of our enemies."

Yeah, so does everyone else on this board (I'd think).

However, who are those enemies? Are those little girls our enemies? Hopefully, thanks to the efforts of SSG Pollard and servicemen and women like her, they won't be.


18 posted on 10/08/2006 7:33:00 PM PDT by Constantine XI Palaeologus ("Vicisti, Galilaee")
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To: cajungirl

"I just want blood of our enemies."

Yeah, so does everyone else on this board (I'd think).

However, who are those enemies? Are those little girls our enemies? Hopefully, thanks to the efforts of SSG Pollard and servicemen and women like her, they won't be.


19 posted on 10/08/2006 7:33:17 PM PDT by Constantine XI Palaeologus ("Vicisti, Galilaee")
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To: SandRat

Nice story and pictures. These are support battalion and civil affair soldiers. One of their primary missions is to help establish and organize structure in cities and neighborhoods, whether it be iraq or afghanistan. Certainly they are soldiers first, but humanitarian assistance is their speciality. There is nothing "soft" or "weak" about that.

And many of our troops know that it's the kids that will one day inherit their country, if you treat them with kindness maybe they will pass it along one day.


20 posted on 10/08/2006 7:36:55 PM PDT by World_Events
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To: cajungirl

LOL...you aren't ancient, even though the things you read on here can make you feel that way.

I watched a movie the other night, against my best judgement. It was "Munich". Now, I had heard enough about it to decide I did not want to pay the rental fee to see it, but...I heard someone say it wasn't quite the way it was made out to be, soooo...I took a chance.

Big mistake. It is about the Israelis who hunted down the terrorists responsible for the Massacre at the Munich Olympics.

The message of the movie was, striking back at your foe makes you as bad as and inhuman as your enemy that initially attacked you. It really pissed me off, to have that message coming from someone like Steven Spielberg, who SHOULD KNOW BETTER. He did make "Schindler's List", for God's sake. How could he make a movie like "Munich"?

Anyway, the point is...I agree more with you than disagree. In Iraq, this approach may eventually fail. But we can hold our heads up and say we DID try.


21 posted on 10/08/2006 7:48:02 PM PDT by rlmorel (Islamofacism: It is all fun and games until someone puts an eye out. Or chops off a head.)
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To: cajungirl
The world will hate or admire us without turning an army into social workers.

The issue isn't whether the world hates or admires us. The issue is whether the ordinary people in the areas around the soldiers hate or admire them. From what I understand, much of our intelligence in Iraq comes from ordinary people whom we have convinced to trust us. Giving out clothes and toys isn't "social work"--it's an essential part of intelligence gathering.

22 posted on 10/08/2006 8:10:23 PM PDT by supercat (Sony delenda est.)
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To: cajungirl

The children are actually the ones whose "hearts and minds" matter, because they are Iraq's future and they will be the ones determining its ongoing relationship with the rest of the world 15 to 20 years hence. So I agree that a part of our military's job is not only to kill or capture the terrorists and other bad guys, but also impress on these children that America is there to help them achieve a decent future for themselves and THEIR children, not to enslave or oppress them. It's a difficult combination of tasks for our military, but I'd bet those who get to work and interact with the children enjoy the opportunity. And they're excellent diplomats and ambassadors for our country.


23 posted on 10/08/2006 10:10:37 PM PDT by hsalaw
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