Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Good News from Iraq: 14 Jan 2009

From MNF-I, Iraqi Police Gather Donated Items for School Children.

BAGHDAD — As bags and boxes were rolled into the courtyard by carts and wheelbarrows at Al Musqdad Primary School last week, smiling students peered through the windows of their classrooms to find Iraqi Police, along with some Coalition Soldiers, making the delivery.

“Today we are here to bring you some gifts,” said Iraqi Police Col. Laftaa Mahdy, commander of Al Jadida police station, through an interpreter. “You are all being rewarded for all of the good things you have been doing.”

During the visit, IPs distributed school supplies, clothing and sporting equipment to the children to further develop the positive relationship between the IPs and the citizens of the muhalla. All of the items were donated by the Soldiers of the 340th MP Co.

“Our platoon leader came up with this idea in August 2008, so that the Iraqi children would gain trust in their IPs as well as in Coalition forces,” said Spc. Lauren DeYoung, a Soldier of 340th MP Co., Multi-National Division - Baghdad. “I told my parents what we were trying to do so they began collecting stuff in my hometown for about a month. At the same time, it gave people back home the opportunity to help these children in any way that they could.”

DeYoung along with two other Soldiers, Sgt. Aaron Grechko and Pfc. John Lachioma assisted in reaching out to their hometowns.

Mahdy, along with an element of IPs from Al Jadida, went into each classroom and spoke with the students of the school. The IPs then distributed bags of school supplies to each child. Each bag consisted of pencils, calculators, notebooks, glue sticks, and protractors, among other supplies.

After all of the bags were distributed, students formed a line and were presented clothes and a game or toy.

“I am happy to have this and I thank them for these gifts,” said Emad, a student at the school, through a translator.

The IPs of Al Jadida, continue to flourish their relationship with their community by providing time and resources to further improve the public perception of the police.