Today (Sept. 15) we visited a local elementary school loaded down with school supplies to the Al Hakeka (The Truth) Elementary School in southern Iraq.
When the soldiers from the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 119th Corps Support Battalion came to Iraq in December 2004 we immediately noticed the poverty in our area and found out that the schools were operating with little or no supplies. We asked our Family Readiness Group for donations of school supplies. In addition, the people of Hammonton, N.J., and Chaplain Jan Koczera’s home church, the First Presbyterian Church of Hamilton Square, N.J., gave very generously. The supplies included notebooks, paper, pens, pencils, crayons, colored markers, construction paper, folders, teaching supplies and sports equipment for the children.
We decided to wait to donate these supplies to a school close to our camp, in southern Iraq, at the beginning of the new school year, which started on the morning of the Sept. 15. The students share one desk and daily bring all their supplies in a school bag. Pictured top to bottom: Maj. William Peace and Capt. John Perez with school children; Maj. Peace is showing them his ranger beads – a type of pace counter used in land navigation. Center photo is of local school students.
Bottom photo, Maj. John Simms, Capt. Perez, Maj. Peace, Capt. Margaret Brescio, Spc. Charles Cornell and Chaplain Jan Koczera (hidden by students) are thanked by the student during final assembly.
Additional Soldiers participating in the humanitarian
effort were Master Sgt. James Hubert, 119th CSB; Capt.
Hilidebrand of the 254th Quartermaster Company, Army
Reserve, and Spc. Charles Cornell of A Company, 753rd Main Support Battalion, Missouri National Guard.