Building Schools, Building Trust

May 12, 2007

The resiliency and determination of our Soldiers serving in Iraq continues to fill me with pride, with each story like this that I read. Our troops take the job that they’ve been given in Iraq seriously. They are determined to succeed, despite the attempts by the insurgents to disuade them from doing so. They’re determined to succeed, despite the defeatist attitude that is constantly in the media and in parts of this country. They’re determinded to prevail and provide a better Iraq for it’s people. This should send a very clear message not only to the insurgents, but to those who doubt the mission here at home, that our troops will do everything within their power to prevail in making Iraq a safer and much better place for it’s citizens.

Even though they’re dealing with insurgent attacks daily, the soldiers of the Multi-National Division-Baghdad continue to assist in the construction of schools in their area of operations. On May 2nd, Soldier’s with 2nd “Stallion” Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division escorted local contractors who were transporting boxes of tiles, doors, windows, bathroom fixtures, ceiling fans, as well as other building supplies to be used in the construction of several schools located in the small villages of Tarmiyah and Musada, North of Baghdad.

One of the schools, the Huda Girls’ School located in Tarmiyah has been the target of Al-Qaeda extremists operating in the area. Twice within the past month, terrorists have used IED’s in targeting the school. In the most recent attempt by the terrorists, Stallion Soldiers discovered 5 artillery shells, 2 large explosive filled propane tanks and many projectiles that were placed in and around the school. According to Major Robert Rodriguez, Multi-Division-Baghdad troops will continue in the development of these projects, regardless of Al-Qaeda’s attempts to stop them. This shows the people of Iraq that the Coalition has a committment to help build a better Iraq, as well as a committment to the well-being of the Iraqi people. Rodriguez says that his unit remains committed to making Iraq a better, safer place to live for it’s citizens, despite the efforts by the terrorists to stop them.

“It’s ironic that on the same day terrorists were planning to blow up the school, the Soldiers of 2-8 Cav along with local leaders, were making plans to deliver more school construction supplies,” Rodriguez said. “Together with the Iraqi people, the U.S. military makes Iraq a more secure, stable place, one day at a time.”

“You have AlQaeda trying to influence even the opening of schools,” he said. “We won’t be deterred in our task to help these people. I think it sends a powerful message to the world.”

1st Cav News


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