Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Good News from Iraq: 24 Oct 2007

From MNF-I, Lieutenant helps renovate Iraqi orphanage.

BAGHDAD — The high point of 1st Lt. William Bass' deployment to Iraq so far wasn't a raid or some other combat operation; it was the sight of two little girls playing on a brand new swing set.

It was an important moment for Bass, because it represented the payoff for three months of hard work to improve conditions at the Al Zuhor Girl's Orphanage in northern Baghdad's Adhamiyah district.

"Seeing that, that was all the gratification I needed right there. It felt really good," Bass said.

Not long ago, the orphanage was falling into disrepair from lack of maintenance, and the girls spent their days shuttered inside with no place to play. But thanks to Bass, a fire support officer with Troop C, 3rd "Saber" Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, the grounds received a $100,000 facelift, turning it into a state-of-the-art facility.

"With these kinds of projects, you get to make a lasting impact," said Bass, a Washington, D.C., native.

The orphanage is home to more than 50 girls between the ages of eight and 16. There is also a separate facility for special-needs children on the same property. Many of the children at the orphanage lost their parents due to the murders, bombings, and other violence that has plagued Baghdad. Others were orphaned by disease or simply because their parents could no longer take care of them, Bass said. ...

Read the rest here.