US Soldiers are making a difference in the lives of Iraqi men, women, and especially children:

Sgt. Robert R. Anderson, infantryman, interacts with a local Iraqi child, in a village outside of Camp Taqaddum, Iraq, March 12th, 2006. Anderson, 25, a native of Gillespie, Ill., and the other soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry Regiment, performed a multi-faceted mission during the daylong operation as they carried out weapons cache sweeps, investigated possible improvised explosive devices and conducted route clearance operations. The Illinois-based National Guard took a few moments throughout the day to assist Iraqi villagers in the area, handing out supplies and spending time with the local children. The soldiers were grateful it wasn’t business as usual and could do something a little light hearted. Whether it’s handing out candy or searching for IEDs, the soldiers are proud of what they are doing in Iraq, said Sgt. 1st Class Timothy J. Atteberry, platoon sergeant. “The individual, personal satisfaction of helping another human being really comes from these kinds of humanitarian-aid type missions,” said Atteberry, a 38-year-old native of Champagne, Ill.The soldiers’ primary mission is to provide base security for the Marines and sailors of the forward-deployed 1st Marine Logistics Group. The 4,200 joint-service members of 1st MLG are part of the 25,000 Marines, airmen, solders and sailors of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force’s forward deployed element. The 1st MLG’s mission is to provide sustained logistics support to I MEF and Iraqi security forces operating in the Al Anbar province of Iraq. First MLG will also support the development of the Iraqi Security Forces' logistic capabilities in order to enable independent ISF led counter insurgency operations.
Of this, I am confident: the children of Iraq are seeing US Soldiers as friends, willing to sacrifice themselves to make a better future for them and their families. The generation of Iraqis who are growing up right now, the children who have known freedom, and nothing else, will remember us, and pass down their perceptions to future generations.

What will they say?

They will tell their children and grandchildren that their parents and grandparents lived under the rule of a brutal dictator, and men from another land, of a different culture, came and saved them.

Of this, I am confident.

What will the rest of the story be? That they saved them from the evil of Saddam Hussein, then left them at the time they were needed most? Or will they say that the United States stayed, and helped usher in a new government and a new era of personal and religious freedom in their country?

Make no mistake about it, we're at a crossroads, and the big decisions we make now will affect generations of Americans and Iraqis. All we need is the moral courage to do the right thing.

Original post HERE

Original Article HERE