CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE KALSU, Iraq — As Soldiers of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team prepared to leave the five provinces in southern Iraq, there was still one last mission to complete.
In coordination with supporters at Brookstone School, and residents of Columbus, Phenix City and Fort Benning, the Soldiers dropped off donated shoes to the children of Iraq.
“There is nothing better than seeing the look on a child’s face when you give them something they need,” said 1LT Jonathan Roland, 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment. “Even though we don’t speak the same language, you can see the excitement.”
The project, in coordination with the Babil Provincial Reconstruction Team, started with a modest goal.“It is an idea based on the partnership between Brookstone School and two local Iraqi schools,” said LTC Jonathan Boston, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd HBCT. “When we started, Cindy Sparks (Brookstone School) estimated 50 to 70 pairs of shoes would be donated, but through the efforts of our supporters in the tri-city area and Brookstone School, nearly 1,000 pairs of shoes were donated.”During this deployment 3rd HBCT executed an advise and assist mission, and worked closely with the Iraqi people.
“For the brigade, it is another example of our enduring partnership,” Boston said. “This project takes it one step further; it shows the enduring partnership that exists between Americans and Iraqis. The children of Iraq are the future,” said Boston. “Our commitment begins with them.”
The partnership started by the 3rd HBCT will continue with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regt.