Local Iraqi CLC Members And U.S. Forces Welcome Returning Citzens
FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER
When 12 displaced families returned to al Bata, the Soldiers of Troop A, 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, were there with their Concerned Local Citizen (CLC) partners to welcome them back with food and water Dec.12.
With the help of local leaders, Soldiers and members of the CLCs in Khargulia delivered food and water to citizens in al Bata, al Hamidat and Khargulia.
Abu Amas, leader of the CLCs in Khargulia, stressed the importance of the families returning to the area to see how much the area has improved since they were forced to leave.
With 12 families in al Bata coming back into the area, it is important that we welcome them with gifts for their return,” Abu Amas said. They look forward to working with Coalition forces and see now that the leaders of this area can provide for their neighbors.
Several sheiks from each area came out to support the mission and help ensure that the food went to the families that were the most in need.
“We are so grateful for the food today,” said Sheik Jabar Salloomi, a sheik in al Bata. “It is truly a change in Iraq when families who have been gone for years can come back to their homes with such a welcome.
First Lt. Alex Lamonilara, from Laurel, Md., a platoon leader in Troop A, was pleased with the role that local sheiks took in the operation.
It is great to see local leaders in this area coming together, Lamonilara said. Too often, you hear about the strife and the rift between areas in this region and it shows how far we’ve come. They can work together to improve their life here with only minimal support from Coalition forces.
Troop A helped the CLCs deliver 1,000 kg of rice, 4,350 kg of lentils, 200 kg of flour, 250 kg of sugar and 1,000 kg of beans to help feed families in the three areas in the coming winter months.
When the troops arrived at the school at 1 p.m., excited school children ran up and quickly helped Coalition forces unload cases of clean water.
The food and water weren’t just goodwill gestures in the opinion of Pfc. Michael Agin, from Lima, Ohio, a medic in Troop A.
It is awesome to see this food going to families and young children,? Agin said. This nourishment will help strengthen these children, improving their immunity to sickness.
Local leaders were pleased by the way the mission went and their involvement in it.
We are extremely grateful for the Coalition forces and the Concerned Local Citizens, said Sheik Fadil Hellan, a sheik in al Hamedat. They both respect the sheiks and the issues we have. One thousand thank-yous to both for answering our prayers with this food to feed our families.
The 3-1st Cav. Regt. is part of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga., and has been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom since March.