Tuesday, April 10, 2007

US Army Assists Iraqi Farmers

“We’re very happy that you came to serve us like this and bring so many supplies. Before, many people used to say that the Americans were no good, but now, seeing how much you help us – everyone is changing their minds.”
Spc. Derrick Ballantine (right) a native of Fredricksted, U.S. Virgin Islands, and a driver with the 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), carries a bag of ammonium phosphate fertilizer at a distribution in the village of Mustafar, Iraq, March 25. He is followed by a local farmer who was helping unload the bags for disbursement.

Spc. Travis Bellew (center), a native of Arkansas City, Kan., and a medic with the 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), carries a bag of ammonium phosphate fertilizer with a local man at a distribution in the village of Mustafar, Iraq, March 25. Soldiers and civilians worked together to unload the bags for disbursement.

Iraqi men load bags of ammonium phosphate fertilizer into the backs of their pickup trucks in the village of Mustafar, Iraq, March 25. Soldiers of the 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), brought two truckloads of the bags for disbursement. (U.S. Army photos by Spc. Chris McCann, 2nd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. (LI) Public Affairs)


By Spc. Chris McCann
2nd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. (LI)
Public Affairs

MUSTAFAR, Iraq — The village of Mustafar, Iraq, teems with children and farmers hailing the trucks of U.S. Soldiers coming in, March 25.

The Soldiers, with the 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), brought two and a half truckloads of ammonium phosphate fertilizer from Camp Striker, Iraq, to the farmers a few miles away.

Abdul Nebi Mahdi Hassam Al-Shemeri, the head of the newly founded farmers’ cooperative, and his son, Salam Abdul-Nebi, helped organize the distribution.

“I help, but my father does most of it,” Salam said. “We live here and farm vegetables to sell – our family has been here for about 17 years.”

Capt. Adam Sawyer, a native of Reading, Pa., and the commander of Troop C, 1-89, helped about 50 farmers build their own cooperative.

“They’re recognized by the Iraqi government now,” Sawyer said. “The co-op has tractors and equipment that they share. They expressed interest in getting some fertilizer, and so (Abdul-Nebi) is here to make sure that only the members of the co-op get it.”

The chance to get out was fun for the Soldiers as well.“I feel like I’m actually doing something,” said Sgt. Ethan Jones, a native of Boyertown, Pa., and a welder. “I’m not just back in the rear, doing nothing. I’m getting out and seeing more of the scenery. And I think the Iraqis are very appreciative of what we’re doing.”

“We’re tired but happy,” said Abdul-Nebi. “We’re very happy that you came to serve us like this and bring so many supplies. Before, many people used to say that the Americans were no good, but now, seeing how much you help us – everyone is changing their minds.”

Pfc. Victor Calhoun, a native of Macon, Ga., and a driver with Troop D, said he’s been enlightened about Iraqi culture on these missions too.

“The more I do it, the more I enjoy it and understand that I’m actually part of helping them,” Calhoun said. “It’s good to see that we bring a variety of things they need. And today I saw the locals working together, instead of just asking for a handout. There were children involved, Iraqi police – everyone was working together.”

One of the Iraqi policemen, Samir Ali Kalaf Kenaani, joked with the local children and pulled security along Abu Ghalan road.

“I’m very happy to serve our people. We hope to serve more and more – the people here are very poor.”

Samir joined the police force to help the country, he said.

“Well, I joined for the salary too, but mostly to help my country,” Samir said, laughing. “It’s dangerous sometimes, but it’s dangerous in Iraq to be a civilian too. Mostly we just want to get the area to be safe. It will take time, but we’ll get there.”

9 comments:

Katie M. said...

another great post. you can never hear too much good news from over there.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Flag Gazer said...

Anonymous~
Your post has been deleted for several reasons:
1: Sign your name - I delete most completely anonymous comments. If you are not proud enough to claim it, we shouldn't be bothered reading it. And, you don't get to use my blog for your platform of disrespect.
2: This is not the correct thread for a comment on a mid-March post. Stay on topic. You would have had better luck if you posted it where it belonged.
3: The Oregonian probably won't publish your piece because it is an old topic, not because they don't agree with you. However, your argument is poorly formed and worded, which may further eliminate the possiblity of publication.
4: This is not an openly political blog and you don't get to come here and stir things up.
5: If you need a platform for your anti-war post, there are plenty out there. This is not one of them.

A_C said...

You know what I think I like most about these stories. Even though the guys and girls serving over there know that alot of people in the West don't care about their contributions they are still so positive about it.

I get the boys coming in all the time all excited cos they got to hand toys out to kids or help families in some way.

They have such a thankless job, the positive comments they get from the Iraqi Civillians really perk them up.

De'on Miller said...

This is a great post and you shouldn't be surprised by the attacks! You hit a nerve! That nerve being the greatest military in the world and the only thing outside God Himself standing between us and annihilation by an enemy that breeds on hate. That enemy doesn't need help, but seems some of our own citizens still live in Alice in Wonderland.

I want whatever they're taking! I don't understand why people can't see and understand what keeps us free. It's not because we're nice. It's because we are powerful. Now, who do they want to give that power to. Someone WILL have it and it better be us or the libs go down the same path we do.

Like the Devil himself, these evil, evil people laugh at our blunders and at any show of weakness. They don't care one bit who thinks they're nice nice people. Geez... sorry you're still having trouble, FG.

De'on Miller said...

P.S. And please tell our troops in the WAY OUT WEST that there are enough of those in the southwest that support them so no big loss over the Westies! ;)

Really, it is a shame though. Guess the West was won in a pure exhibition of peacemaking and live and let live.

Flag Gazer said...

De'on ~
This state and town has been overrun with 'transplants' from the big cities - mostly California and they want to turn it into a place with those values... sickening.

But, if you look at the honor roll. Oregon is WAY AHEAD of the average, unfortunately. It just shows that we still have great people living here who quietly go about their business doing good things and serving their country. May God Bless them all.

I am Heidi's Mom. said...

My dear friend, Another wonderful post as always. Thank you. I didn't read what anonymous said, but I am glad you deleted it. Honestly, I am surprised when blog owners leave on negative comments. Life is short and full of bs, Lord knows we should delete it when we can. Too much of it we have to put up with.

Hope your day is good.

Kerri

Flag Gazer said...

Kerri-
You are great!!!