December 30, 2010

Cities of children from The Unknown Soldiers

The Unknown Soldiers: Cities of children -

South of the Euphrates River, remnants of ancient Ur sit near the major Iraqi city of Nasiriyah. Terms like dynasty, city-state, and Babylon are all part of this historic village's fabric. But today, Ur is yet another place where Iraqi children live in the painful aftermath of an age of oppression and violence.

Air Force Sgt. Luis Buot wasn't trying to make history when he recently visited what's left of the ancient city. He just wanted to extend his hand in friendship, as pictured above, in this war-ravaged community. Earlier this month, the Pemberton, New Jersey Airman and his advisory team took time to hand out clothing, playthings, and school supplies to children in the shadows of Ur's ruins.

When I worked in local and national newsrooms, I remember pieces of video and photos showing acts of kindness by our troops being derided as 'military propaganda' by some journalists. Yet before and after I started running this blog, I have read countless examples of American service members -- often at great risk to their personal safety -- insisting on taking time to help local kids. One of the last photos of Pfc. Dustin Finch, who was killed in Iraq on December 8, shows the Soldier high-fiving with a group of Iraqi children.
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