Thursday, February 14, 2008

Soldiers See Need

FORWARD OPERATING BASE KALSU — Despite nerve damage in his legs that confined him to a wheelchair, 7-year-old Yasser Mahmed was always in good spirits, waving to Soldiers passing through his neighborhood in Arab Jabour. The Soldiers of Company D, 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division noticed the little boy, who relied on the legwork of his 12-year-old cousin, Ahmed Sluman, to propel his chair around.

The boys’ teamwork inspired Soldiers of Company D to reach out and make a difference. On Feb. 7, the Soldiers gave Yasser a new wheelchair, one with rugged tires to help better navigate the terrain.

"I am grateful for the assistance," said Mahmed's father, Yasser Mahmed Hussen. "I would like to say thank you more than one time."

Sluman said that family is very important to him and caring for his younger cousin comes naturally. "There are strong relationships in Iraqi families. We rely on our families," he said.

The Soldiers hope that through small acts of kindness like this, they can build trust in the community.

"The overall goal is to build trustful relations between us and the community," said 1st Lt. Bryan Deminico, platoon leader, Company D. "Little things done at the community level show we are here to help."

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