Thursday, November 10, 2005

Coalition Forces, Iraqis Open Soccer Field

This article is from I don't normally agree with a lot of the site, but this article caught my eye.

TALL AFAR, Iraq, Nov. 8, 2005 — Coalition forces, in cooperation with local residents, constructed and opened a soccer field at the Al Zahawe School in the neighborhood of Sarai here, Nov. 5.

"It is basically a goodwill gesture from the coalition forces to the Sarai neighborhood," said U.S. Army Capt. Ryan Hambleton, a team leader in the 401st Civil Affairs Battalion.

Sarai, a Sunni area, was one of the more deeply effected neighborhoods during the military actions in early September.

With over 50 children attending the opening of the "football" field, the day was filled with the joyous yelling, laughter and soccer.

Elements from the 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division and 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment assisted elements of the 401st Civil Affairs Battalion, who coordinated the event.

A flatbed tractor trailer brought the newly constructed goal posts to a dirt field located behind the school where they were soon put into place at opposing ends.
Carefully laying down lines of chalk, a local Iraqi man marked the boundaries and goal lines of the field.

Nets donated by Presbyterian College in South Carolina were strung up with black wire ties after a team effort by the children to reach the top of the post.
Once the field was ready for play, the anticipation increased as the children waited for a soccer ball. Lined up against a wall, the children waited anxiously for the battalion commander of the 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment and an Iraqi general to open the field.

As several paratroopers and Iraqi policeman took to the field to challenge the children in a friendly game, the field was officially opened.
The children of the neighborhood were given ten balls by the coalition forces to use on their new field.

A similar project is in place to create a soccer field in a Shiite populated neighborhood.

The first thought that came to my mind is.. Why the hell are we not supporting these kinds of efforts? The truth is, regardless or not if you supported the US invasion of Iraq, we are there and we need to do everything we can to fulfill the mission and get out. We also need to leave Iraqis with some sense that those of us back in the States do want them to succeed and do want them to be free.

Now i do know that getting any kind of congregational agreement that even hints at supporting the war would be damn near impossible, that is why we need an affiliate or office of military ministry. I imagine a lot of UUs would get on board if they had an institution to do so with.

Service is Our Prayer

No comments: