Soldiers Work With Locals To Rebuild Facility
Recently soldiers from Company I, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Combat Team 5 worked together with Iraqi Army 3rd Battalion and 3rd Brigade on the school at Al Qaim. The school had been damaged in different bouts of fighting, and the joint effort had one singular goal: To make a school that the community and the children could be proud of.
The effort began with soldiers from U.S. Coalition forces and the Iraqi Army working to clear debris, and to clean up broken furniture, and remove garbage and broken glass. Windows were cleared of broken glass, and the reconstruction effort began. Dirt and debris that was in each classroom was removed, and holes enlarged to fit the new windows. A new blackboard was placed in the head of each classroom.
Increasingly the Iraqi security forces are identifying and starting projects such as this on their own initiative. “The goal is to help the Iraqi Security forces, Police and Army to focus their efforts on helping their own people,” said Captain TJ Owens. Captain Owens is the commander of Company I.
“Iraqi people need to continue to see their own Army and Police forces doing these things, and realize that they are helping their own country, not just being assisted by American Forces,” said Captain Owens.
Previously Iraqi Security Forces have desired to do these kinds of projects but did not have the resources or materials to complete these types of projects. “We are working to try and keep the leadership among the Iraqi Security forces. The Iraqi people are slowly realizing their Army, Police and Security Forces are there trying to help them,” Stated Captain Owens.