Army Infantry Troops Aid In Rebuilding And Outreach In Iraq
The neighborhood of Doura in Baghdad has seen better times. Bullets and other explosives have made holes in walls, and parts of the neighborhood were strewn with garbage, shops shuttered and closed, people afraid to step foot outside.
That was up to now.
Soldiers from U.S. and Coalition units have swept the neighborhood repeatedly working to weed out terrorist and insurgent elements, and to work to put the citizens back in control of their own lives and their neighborhood.
“We first arrived on the scene and there were only about ten stores open on the whole street” stated Army Lieutenant Colonel Jim Crider. Crider is Commander of First Squadron, Fourth Cav. Regiment, and Fourth Infantry Brigade Combat Team, of the 1st Infantry Division.
“We had several attacks occur, IED devices almost every day, and we had no cooperation from the locals at all,” said Crider. “We had to stay alert and on the street to guard and protect 24/7, especially at first” remarked Crider.
As the Troops slowly made contact and developed friendships, things began to change.
“As of the end of October, we are pleased to report that nearly one hundred forty stores are open,” said Colonel Crider. Staying on the street and erecting barriers against gunfire and providing protection for the area slowly won the local populace over. Slowly the citizens started to come back outside.
“We are proud that this is now once again one of the safest places in Doura” said Colonel Crider.