Bringing Soldiers And Iraqi Families Together Through Art

April 10, 2008

As ugly as war can be, some Soldiers currently at FOB War Eagle have decided to reach out to a group of Iraqi children, as a way to bridge the gap between Troops and the Iraqi families in the community. On March 29th, the Soldiers invited the children to showcase their artistic talents and creativity by allowing them to paint the concrete walls that are used to protect citizens in their neighborhood.

The children all live in a nearby village and walk by the concrete T-walls every day on their way to school. The children tend to walk along that route, as they know it’s the safest route for them to take to and from school. While one focus of the project was to provide another way to establish rapport with the local community, it also provided the children the opportunity to take part in beautifying something that they see on a daily basis.

The children had a great time painting things of their choice, such as Iraqi and American flags, palm trees, flowers, hearts and other designs. The day also allowed the Soldiers and children to interact with each other in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. The day of fun, was organized by Captain Megan Welch, logistics officer with the brigade, and her fellow Soldiers.

“The kids who participated had a good time, and for us, it was a good opportunity to interact with the neighborhood kids,” said Army Captain Walter Zurkowsky, executive officer for HHT, 64th Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.

“We had a lot of fun with the kids. It was a good, cooperative community-building event, and we look forward to seeing many of these in the future,” Capt. Welch said.

What a fantastic way to help the children not only take part in making their community a better place to live, but it also allows the children to learn about the men and women who are behind the uniform of the US Soldier. From the looks of the smiles on the faces of the children, it’s obvious that it was a day they truly enjoyed.



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