Kids in Basrah

December 2, 2008 at 11:27 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

October 5, 2008

Well it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything and for that I apologize. Ramadan may have been a really slow month for the Iraqis but it was a really busy month for the team. During the last month we got our 90 day redeployment notice and a checklist of all of the requirements that are necessary for us to redeploy. This means that I have been frantically writing and submitting awards, evaluations, after action reviews and all of the other assorted things that make up our end of tour requirements. To top it off the Brigade headquarters decided to move out of the Ministry of Agriculture building we were in and co locate with our second battalion, so we have been busy reestablishing our command and control network in the new building. Sorry no new photos of the new location, I’m having some issues with my camera. But there is plenty of space in the new building; I don’t roll off my cot and accidently kick my neighbor in the head like I was prone to do at the Ministry of Agriculture building.
The main theme of this post is a topic I have wanted to write about for awhile and just haven’t gotten around to it yet, the kids of Basrah or Iraq in general, since I think that the kids really don’t change much from area to area. As you can see in the following pictures the kids love us for the most part, many of them running out from houses to line the streets and wave and give us the thumbs up. With that said though there are still instances of kids throwing rocks at us, and one of our machine gunners actually got hit in the nose the other day, no permanent damage just a bloody nose. I think that the majority of the kids throwing rocks are just playing games. Hey look it’s the Americans/British in their armored vehicles; let’s see if we can hit them. The issue lies with the adults who don’t stop them as they are throwing the rocks.

This reinforces what I was talking about earlier, these two girls heard our trucks going by and came running out of their house compound to wave and see us. For those of you who did this, it kind of reminds me of times I would run outside as a kid and watch firetrucks, police cars, or the school bus go by.
You see lots of kids riding their bikes, which is no different from the States. These kids must of rode their bikes 50 times in front of the medical clinic where I was outside pulling security while the Brigade Commander and the team chief were inside trying to find out what Iraqi Government/Coalition assistance the clinic director needed.
One thing that kids do in Iraq which I was never able to get a good picture of is fly kites. In the spring when we first got done here, there were always kids flying kits. What I don’t understand and the interpreters can’t answer the question, is why did they stop flying kites since the wind always seems to blow in Iraq.
This picture was taken just outside of the Ministry of Agriculture compound that we lived in for most of the summer. This is our team medic and NCOIC just after they had given this family of kids new Iraqi National Soccer team jerseys. These kids were always hanging around outside our compound and never seemed to be clean, we called them the dirtiest kids ever. In fact about two days after this picture was taken they had worn the jerseys so much, that you would have thought they were months old. I guess they really liked them.
One day we needed some gravel and rock for a project we were doing in our compound. So how do you get workers in a third world country country? You get the kids! So for a soda and a bag of chips we had all of the kids in the neighborhood out helping us pick up rocks and gravel for us. I’m sure they thought the Americans were stupid, but they really wanted that soda and bag of chips.
Every time you take your camera out and want to take pictures of kids they all line up and crowd together and want their picture taken. No I didn’t take this picture off center, I wanted to focus on the kid on the right. Look at his shirt, yes it does say K-State! AAAGH I can’t get away from it! At least it’s not that god awful purple that K-State fans insist on wearing. Why couldn’t it of been a nice normal black and gold Mizzou shirt?

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