There’s some good news from Iraq this month as the U.S. military celebrated the opening of remodeled schools in Kirkuk, new healthcare facilities in Wassit Province, the grand opening of a new surgical and pregnancy wing in northern Baghdad and receipt of soccer balls and schools supplies from Americans to Iraqi children.
(photo) Mr. Adel, a science teacher at the Musalla Secondary School in Kirkuk, Iraq, hands a bag of school supplies to a student during a school reopening ceremony Thursday, after renovations were completed.
An elementary and middle school in Kirkuk were the first of six to be renovated as part of a program in which they will serve as models for other schools in the area.
Local Iraqis were contracted to do the work over the summer while students were out of school. Construction included a bigger science laboratory featuring new computers. Computer desks and other materials used to build the laboratory were donated by a nongovernmental agency. (photo) Class is underway Thursday at the Musalla Secondary School in Kirkuk, Iraq. The school, along with an elementary school in the city, will serve as models for other schools in the region -U.S. Army photo
At the ceremony marking the reopening of the schools, Col. Patrick T. Stackpole, 3BCT commander, told the students assembled that they are their countryâ€™s greatest resource.
â€œThis is the best day Iâ€™ve had in Iraq,â€ said Stackpole. â€œBeing the future of Iraq, take this opportunity and I hope to see some of you up here (on stage) someday.â€
The school renovation program was funded with authorized by the US Congress.
A new surgical and pregnancy wing opened to serve about 140,000 people in the greater Tarmiya area north of Baghdad.
The $400,000 project features operating rooms, labor and delivery facilities, and recovery rooms. The medical official from the Ministry of Health, Dr. Ali Ibrahim, brought in his own touches with his photos and plastic plants.
Hameed Halhelal, the local contractor in charge of the project, said he enjoyed the project. â€œThis is my first project here in Tarmiya, and a very good thing for the people,â€ he said. â€œThis clinic is great for people needing surgery and for pregnant women and their children.â€
The Army Corps of Engineers reported in their Iraq Reconstruction Report of Oct. 5 that the Al-Aziziya Primary Healthcare Center in the Wassit Province has been completed. The $694,000 project constructed a two-story medical facility with medical and dental examination rooms, X-ray rooms, laboratory facilities and a pharmacy. The renovations provide a safe and modern preventative medical facility with the capability of seeing 35,000 patients annually.
Last week soldiers delivered school supplies and soccer balls, all donated from organizations in the United States, to the children of a rural district in western Baghdad.
Shannon Mickel, completed his Eagle Scout project by delivering to Iraq 15 boxes of school supplies, packed with pens, pencils, notebooks, rulers and glue, donated from businesses in Utah. A hometown friend, Command Sgt. Maj. Douglas Adair and his 115th Engineer Battalion, delivered the supplies to children in a rural district in western Baghdad.
â€œThis has been one of the highlights of this deployment,â€ Adair said. â€œI was able to serve as a connection between people back home and locals in Iraq.â€
enver radio talk show host Steffan Tubbs requested help from anyone who had contacts in Iraq to assist in delivery of 150 soccer balls. Staff Sgt. Andrew Bernierâ€™s father was listening and contacted his son stationed with the same division as Adair.
â€œMissions like this represent a direct link to the Iraqi people,â€ noted Bernier. â€œThings that put smiles on kidsâ€™ faces really helps to build relationships with the local people.â€