Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Lost Village

I went on a Civil Affairs mission yesterday, and the experience proved to be a much needed shot in the arm. Since returning from my two weeks of leave I have found myself increasingly disinterested in this place with my thoughts consumed by my family back in Texas. The trip I made yesterday, however, reminded me yet again of why we are here and gave me a renewed sense of purpose.

The village we went to was just recently discovered by our Civil Affairs team. Obviously it has been there all the while, but our unit’s efforts have concentrated on more populous and evident areas of need. Conversely, this village is much smaller and out of the way.

I have commented frequently on the children we encounter here. At times they can be obnoxiously forward, but even then my interactions with them give me hope in this nation’s future. The children of this village, however, were a breath of fresh air. While they are just as impoverished as the children of other villages, they were amazingly well behaved and polite. After having tea with the sheik and some of the village elders the medics provided some very basic medical care (remember, they have no concept of a family doctor), and then we handed out some toothbrushes and some toys.

I am always so impressed at the beauty in these kids, and knowing they will now have an opportunity to grow up free makes this endeavor worth every effort.

This little guy kept trying to peek in while we were having tea with sheik, and kept getting "shooed" away. I couldn't help but chuckle at him, which I'm sure didn't help the situation.

One of the medics and me handing out toothpaste and tooth brushes. When was the last time your kid got excited about a new tooth brush?

The sheik overseeing the activities...and making sure the kids behaved.

The rest are just pictures of the kids I took that day.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome pics as usual John, thanks for all of your hard work and we look forward to seeing you again very soon.

The Bridges

5:42 AM  
Blogger Katy said...

Oh, I am not sure why, but those children just choked me up. That is why ya'll are there. Thank you sir for your service!!!

9:30 AM  
Anonymous SK said...

Thanks again for sharing your experiences and your photos.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Call Me Grandma said...

I got a lump in my throat reading that. I am so proud of our military. Thanks for the good story from Iraq.

5:28 PM  
Blogger Wayne's Mom said...

Precious pictures of precious little lives. Thank you for sharing such a sweet moment.

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Aaron from Austin, Texas said...

It's nice to see some postive images coming out of Iraq. Thanks. Take care and Hook em!

1:59 PM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...


Great Pics, thanks for sharing. I want to share this with you and your buds. I think every American should read this.

Continue the Mission

Papa Ray
West Texas

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth Martin said...

Thank you for you site, and thank you for your service. God bless you all. -Liz

7:50 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

When it's all said and done it is the children who will reap the rewards of your hard work and dedication. Thank you John, it's a beautiful reminder of why we all must keep the faith and stay the course.

Melissa a.k.a. Tigerbee92

4:43 PM  
Blogger Maddie said...

Wow, I love your site! Great pics, and it's so good to hear another more positive side of this story.

Keep up the good work,

6:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That little guy peeking in the window looks alot like Luke. Did you notice that?(really touches home in that case I'm sure) For some reason the look in the eyes of those children really grabs me. Our hearts go out to all the children over there and also the little ones that are victims of Katrina. So helpless and innocent and truly victims of their circumstances. With what YOU are doing along with many others and prayer their tomorrows will be better. Thanks again John, for sharing your heart. Luv Ps91 M/D

11:34 AM  
Anonymous SuperChief said...

As an advisor in another war I had the opportunity to provide security for a Civic Action Team. The place was far different but the faces of the children were the same and the sense of accomplising something worthwhile was fantastic. Thank you and all your comrades for "keeping the faith" and doing your often seemingly unrewarding job with pride and professionalism.

6:02 AM  

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