Soldiers Help Mentor And Teach Athletic Skills
The area in and around Radwaniyah has been known for fierce fighting but it now is becoming a known for a different type of success.
The American work ethic and sense of teamwork has been an issue that pervades even the athletics of our country, and one of the ways to share the American way of life is to teach athletic skills to youth. The soldiers of 101st Airborne, 3rd BCT, 69th Armor, 2nd Battalion, Company B is working with local citizens to create a healthy, disciplined structured youth athletic program. With a rebuilt athletic facility and a large amount of donated time, there have been a lot of opportunities to relate to young Iraqi students and other Iraqi local citizens.
Lessons about teamwork, hard work, discipline and respect are being taught, all with the input and guidance of the Soldiers from Company B. They are working to try and give back to the community, the same community they have been a part of and patrolled among. And so far it seems to be working.
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One member of the local Sheikh council was outspoken in his praise for the efforts. “Thanks to coalition forces, the Iraqi Army and thanks be to God, this had been very successful. The security that our friends American and Coalition forces have brought is the biggest gift we have,” said Sheikh Hameed Shalal Al-Thanrib.
There were 18 children the first day of the basketball camp, and 27 Iraqi kids attended the second day. By the last day of camp there were 47 Iraqi kids participating. The last day of camp, soldiers passed out copies of the Koran. This was similar to some American basketball camps that pass out bibles at the end of their Basketball camps. The members of the Iraqi council and local sheikhs were pleased at the opportunity to give out copies of their most holy book. “Passing out copies of the Koran lets them know we respect their religion, it is a sign of respect,” said Sergeant Dwight Williams. Sgt. Williams is platoon Sgt with Company B.