22 August 2006

B36 News - 22 August 2006

The Wiz makes a guest appearance in today's news. In this picture he's posing with a mold of Mark's foot that MarksMomma sent me in a package recently. The story about how she had to 'splat' his little foot in the goo to make the cast is a funny one, but only if you can make the sound effects to go with it.

Successful Pilgrimage
Making major headlines was the sniper attacks that killed 20 Shia pilgrims in Baghdad. What you didn't hear so much about was the other 999,980 or so who weren't killed. The last time this pilgrimage occured, hundreds died when rumors of suicide vest attacks panicked a crowd that trampled many of its participants. Ladies and gentlemen, this was a major target for terrorists, a large sectarian based gathering, and it passed with relatively little violence. Proof positive that progress is being made.

ISF Catch Bad Guys
Even while ensuring the safety of the roughly 1 million Shia pilgrims, the ISF continued to conduct raids. Great, so they conducted operations, what does that mean?
  • Found and freed 7 kidnap victims.
  • Captured 11 kidnappers, two of which also led death squads.
  • Found one weapons cache.
Innocent Iraqi Teens get Schoolhouse
I guess that since no one died and one can't show how the big bad American military oppressed/violated/insulted someone that you won't hear this story anywhere else. As with most of Iraq, the girls school in Qurtajah was greatly neglected during Saddam's rule. It was neglected right up until the 'American war machine' decided to repair it.
“This is what we came over to Iraq for,” said Hale. “It feels great to be a part of something so positive that these girls probably wouldn’t have experienced before.”

The smiling girls who clutched their gifts and sneaked peeks through the doors and windows into the classrooms couldn’t hear what was being said, but their expressions seemed to confirm their agreement, concluded Hale.
(full story by SPC Christopher Minshall posted in comments)

4 Comments:

Blogger bandit.three.six said...

by Spc. Christopher Minshall
2nd BCT, 4th Inf. Div.

FOB KALSU, Iraq – Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, celebrated the re-opening of the Qurtajah Girls Secondary School during a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Abbasiah Wednesday.

Established in the late 1970s, the school had been neglected during Saddam Hussein’s reign and was in need of repairs.
It was early 2006 when 1st Lt. Kimberly Hale, civil affairs, 3rd Battalion, 16 Field Artillery, visited the school with several civil affairs officers to try and gauge the approximate costs of renovating the school. The school is the only girl’s secondary school available in the entire Najaf province, said Lt. Col. Michael Hilliard, commander, 3rd Bn. 16th FA.

Hale brought the notes and estimates back to the command and prioritized which repairs required immediate attention and began negotiating with local nationals over labor costs to meet the Coalition Forces requirements.

At the time, each building had varying degrees of decay and cracks running through their walls, no fans or drinking water were available, and every window in the facility was broken and blown out from years of neglect and concussive shock waves from the early stages of Operation Iraqi Freedom, said Hale.

There was no working electricity, no functioning waste disposal for the shack-like structure that was used as a latrine, and there were no doors to seal the large doorways during the frequent dust and sandstorms, which pummel the region dozens of times a year.

While waiting for final approval, Hale made additional trips to the school and brought filing cabinets, chairs and sundry items to the staff and students.

After the deal was struck, the renovation project began construction in mid-spring of 2006.

During the renovation, a new water closet, with clean flowing water, and tiled floors was added. Two water fountains were placed in the school as well as new desks and chairs in each office and classroom. New windows were installed, which included screens, drapes, doors and ceiling fans.

Handrails were installed in each stairwell. Cement sidewalks were laid down between each building, and the entrance gate was replaced with steel doors and flanked by a seven-foot exterior brick wall to protect the perimeter of the school.

Crumbling walls were replaced and repainted and new electrical circuit breakers were installed to run power to a new air-conditioning system and fluorescent lighting that was installed throughout the buildings.

After a few brief comments to usher the occasion in by Governor Altaee and Hale, soccer balls and various gifts and toys were given out to boys and girls who had come for the celebration.

Soldiers from 3-16 FA joined the students in an impromptu game of soccer on the newly paved recreational ball court in the school’s courtyard

“This is what we came over to Iraq for,” said Hale. “It feels great to be a part of something so positive that these girls probably wouldn’t have experienced before.”

The smiling girls who clutched their gifts and sneaked peeks through the doors and windows into the classrooms couldn’t hear what was being said, but their expressions seemed to confirm their agreement, concluded Hale.

13:50  
Anonymous Solo said...

I bet Marksmama had fun getting that cast! Bandit, better not count a career in journalism when you get back. I don't don't think the media moguls could handle Good News. Kudos on the new school. The kids deserve it!

15:55  
Anonymous kelly said...

Dear B36 and Spc. Minshall

THANK YOU. I just cannot say that enough. You all are just the best of the best.

and no the local ABC news is not showing the story about the girls school, and i have heard and heard about the Strykers who "had alread arrived home and now have to return" not a word one about the success they HAD before they left and the success they ARE HAVING immeiatly after having returned, the "news" just can't stand a good story, that is why i come here first, stay safe, keep up the excellent work.
America Supports YOU,

04:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Bandit, Just read Kelly's comments and agree 100%. May God bless you and the people with whom you serve. You make us proud to be Americans, in spite of the d---- media. Our military is first rate, for all their warts. You deserve our support and appreciation so much. Stay safe.

06:55  

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