Soldiers Help Celebrate Sadr City School Renovation
By Sgt. Mike Pryor, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service
BAGHDAD, Oct. 24, 2007 When students at the Yarmook Girls' School in Baghdad’s Sadr City neighborhood returned from summer vacation last month, they found that their school had received an extreme makeover thanks to the government of Iraq and the U.S. Army.
U.S. soldiers and Iraqi National Police officers talk to students at the Yarmook Girls School in Baghdad’s Sadr City neighborhood during a visit to the school to see improvements made during a recent renovation effort sponsored by the Iraqi government, Iraqi police, and the U.S. military. From left to right: Army Capt. Alex Carter, a civil affairs team chief attached to 1st Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division; an Iraqi police officer; Brig. Gen. Ali Ibrahim Daboun, commander of 8th Brigade, 2nd INP Division; Army Staff Sgt. Brandon Lantz, a civil affairs linguist; and Army Lt. Col. Dan Barnett, commander of 1st Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment. Photo by Sgt. Mike Pryor, USA
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
U.S. soldiers and Iraqi National Police visited the recently renovated school Oct. 22 to see the improvements and hand out backpacks and soccer balls to the students.
The renovations to the school totaled $200,000 of improvements, including a new roof, a new lighting system, repairs to cracks in the pavement and stairs, and a paint job, said Glen Allen, Va., native Capt. Alex Carter, a U.S. Army civil affairs team chief who helped oversee the project.
Nine other schools in Sadr City also have been renovated over the past few months, as part of the same program that refurbished the Yarmook Girl’s School, Carter said. The school improvement program was made possible by cooperation among the Ministry of Education, the local neighborhood councils, school officials, the Iraqi National Police, and the U.S. Army’s 1st Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, which operates in the Sadr City area, he said.
“What makes this special to me is that this really validates how effective we are working with the Iraqi police in Sadr City,” Carter said.
The top Iraqi police official present at the school visit, Brig. Gen. Ali Ibrahim Daboun, commander of 8th Brigade, 2nd Iraqi National Police Division, said he also was pleased by cooperation between the Iraqi government, the Iraqi security forces, and the U.S. military.
He said he hopes that the school improvement program would show the 2.5 million residents of Sadr City that they are a priority of the Iraqi government.
“In the past, they were neglected, but the new government will serve them,” he said.
(Army Sgt. Mike Pryor is assigned to 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.)