View Full Version : Help Baghdad Schools!

SGT Rock
09-27-2003, 13:50
I'm putting the call out to see if anyone out there may be able to help me here.

In our area we have about 55 schools ranging from technical schools to elementery schools. Some are all male, some all female, and a few are mixed gender. These schools also range from good condition to barely usable.

The Regiment is trying to find schools back in the states that would be interested in an adopt a school program. They would like to establish communications between the schools to foster friendship and understanding between the countries, but they also need help with supplies like paper, pencils, etc.

If you work at a school or know someone that does, please pass this request on. I will be the point of contact for anyone interested. We are also asking for individual donations if people are so moved to do it. We are making a difference in our area. The local Iraqis are becoming great allies here and this can only help!

Here is a story to illustrate my point:

Yesterday a terrorist placed a bomb right beside our main route for this camp. It was a pretty damn big one and would have most likely killed a few soldiers. The locals saw the man do it and a few of them immediately came down and reported it.

My troop sent a patrol down to the site and they were immediately surrounded by the people that had witnessed it being placed. We were able to get it blown up, actually got a lead on the bomber, then found three more of the same type of explosives based on their help. The locals in our area want to be friends and help us despite what has happened in the past.


09-28-2003, 19:22
What's the best contact address to give to people who might be interested in doing this?

I put a link to this thread on thebackpacker.com, there is plenty of interest, but people are definitely asking for contact info.


09-28-2003, 19:37
Sgt. Rock,

This is exactly the sort of story that the news media isn't bothering to tell the U.S. public anymore. I have heard tons of reports from soldiers like yourself who talk about how much the locals appreciate the presence of American Soldiers and Marines, and how much U.S. forces are helping restore civilization and hope to Iraq. But the mainstream media just talks about the soldiers who get killed and wounded by terrorists.

Yes we are losing brave young men to terrorists in Iraq. We'll lose more before things settle out, but those men are dying to bring liberty to an oppressed people, that's about as noble an undertaking as a man or woman can undertake.

I have an Aunt and Uncle who are teachers, if you can provide solid contact information, I'll talk to them and see if they will propose something to the school. Both are very senior, so if they can overcome their own prejudices, they should be able to make something happen.

Lone Wolf
09-28-2003, 23:14
A lot of needs must be met here in the U.S. before we worry about and help other countries.

09-28-2003, 23:54
Lone Wolf,
You are a real piece of work!! From another active duty soldier, currently serving in Korea, part of "killing the enemy" is winning over the populance.

SGT Rock,
Keep up the great work. I have friends who are teachers in the US and will get out the message.

09-29-2003, 06:17
Sgt, tell me where to send a check, I dont have any links with schools but I dont mind buying paper and pencils for kids....maybe I could send it to your home address and your Mrs. could do the right thing?

09-29-2003, 08:53
Wow! Mr. Wolf. Were you kidding?

In case you haven't noticed

1) The military mission in Iraq isn't just limited to showing force and killing people. The folks we have in Iraq didn't choose the mission, but they have to carry it out.

2) A First Sgt. (or any other military person in any position of leadership during operations) isn't just responsible for killing the enemy or for making sure his people kill effectively. A very important part of his duty is to get his people home alive and in one piece.

We've got people in uniform in cities in Iraq every day. Having more friends and fewer enemies in Iraq is going to help keep them alive, and help them get the job done quicker and better.

Personally, I wasn't in favor of invading in the first place. It sounds like you don't like the idea of military involvement in nation building. But, now that we have invaded and we have lots of fine people there, I've got to pull for something that can advance the mission of getting us to a stable and free Iraq that can be turned over to Iraqis, making life on patrol easier and safer for American military personnel and help Iraqi kids and teachers.

You can disagree with the mission all you want or you can back it to the hilt, but either we have to be backing the folks that are there trying to get the job done and get themselves home alive.

Lone Wolf
09-29-2003, 09:35
What's this have to do with hiking? Iraq is not poor. They have billions in oil money but you bleeding hearts feel free to send your $20 checks.

09-29-2003, 09:53
What does this have to do with hiking?

Answer = nothing

This has to do with a person from this site asking for people's help that want to help that's all.

edited to add -
I'm sure as soon as SGT Rock can get back online, he will let those of you interested in this know what the contact info is. Thank you.

09-29-2003, 17:30
It has to do with a hiker who has given a lot to the hiking community and getting him back on the trail ASAP.

09-29-2003, 21:09
Mr. Lone Wolf,
You've been on the trail too long. You need to come inside and rest your weary soul!

This soldier believes that a "bleeding heart" is far better than a bleeding body. I'm sure the more 130,000 American troops in Iraq would feel the same.

SGT Rock
10-02-2003, 15:26
Actually it is very trail unrelated. But I figured since hikers were some of the best people I knew out there, I would see if they can help out. I hope to get to Damascus and meet some of y'all someday. LWolf was going to be my shuttle this summer when I hiked thru Damascus, but I got a little detour in my plans.

Thanks for the support y'all. We are working on getting some contact info to set this up. The Iraqi postal system is totally screwed up for now, so we will work something out to do it via the unit until they get that fixed.

For the most part, the Iraqi people in this area are not the terrorists attacking us, it is Iranians, Jordainians, Syrians, Palistinians, Saudis, etc. I can't just go shooting the people in our neighborhood here. In fact, this neighborhood I patrol was Saddam City, the imfamous slum that Saddam named after himself then never visited and proceeded to repress. Almost every family in our sector lost at least one family member, sometimes many to him. One of our interpreter's wife was killed in front of him and his children by Sadam Fedayeen (Sadam's Reedeemers - pretty sick concept) for treating Shiite muslims. He is a suni and a doctor who can actually make more money as an interpreter than as a doctor because the area is so poor. Despite the 9-11 thing, there was plenty good reason for someone to come over here. Every Iraqi I have talked to is glad we did and just wants to run their own country now.

As for oil, they do have billions but apparently Sadam ran that into the ground just like everything else. And the terrorists and loyalists are blowing up pipelines wherever they can. the US is actually going to send billions more just to fix the infrastructure and it won't even be a loan.

In the end my goal is to help get this country fixed. I don't want my sons having to come here 12 years from now to go at it a third time. Most muslims I talked to always thought we were the godless satan because they didn't know Americans and that was all they have ever been told. And on the other end, ever muslim is not a terrorist fanatic. I figure letting my kids get to know Iraqi kids might help someday getting the terrorists to quit attacking us because they were brought up hearing lies about us.

10-02-2003, 16:52
Just a quick hello sgt .rock and an update on my son smokymtnred...we Hiked from davenport gap to ga..had a great time ..made blueberry pancakes...red's getting ready to head to Ft knox for basic end of the month..you needa good cook sarge???...Red's a Great trail cook...never ate so good on a hiking trip in my life as I did this last one....

keep up the good work!

10-02-2003, 19:42
I promised SGT Rock I would post this part of the troop newsletter here so y'all would have the info. Thank you again to all who are expressing interest.

Supporting Schools

Last week the commander asked for help in a new initiative to support Iraqi schools. A lot of people have expressed an interest and have been asking how to go about doing this.

First the kids could probably use some of the following items: pencils, pens, paper, calculators, English/Arabic dictionaries, scissors, glue, crayons, markers, coloring books, chalk (for the teachers), and any other school supplies you can think of like folders and such.

To get the supplies here for now, you can mail them to:

CPT Mescall / School Program
G/2/2 ACR
Unit 92378
APO AE 09322-2378

Please write us and tell us about your school (if you are representing one) and what kind of school you are interested in supporting we have 50 different schools and feel that we can help by coordinating schools of similar types to be partners. We will set partner schools if you are interested using the US postal system for now since the Iraqi postal system is still not working at an acceptable level. We hope to set up some long-term contact between Americans and Iraqis.

Some businesses have also expressed interest in helping financially as well as sending supplies, or to send money to buy supplies instead of wasting a large part of the money on postage. We will look into how we can do this, but for now we would rather not handle money.

SGT Rock
10-07-2003, 02:57
Steve, if he is going to Knox, that is my home turf as an armor NCO. What is his MOS going to be? If he is going Cav he may just end up here in the unit. Wouldn't that be a hoot!

The guy I mentioned that turned in the bomber, we gave him a certificate of appriciation the other day. He is a buy that gets around on crutches because of an old wound with a family of five that live in a metal shack with no roof. It is very sad. We ended up giving him a "gift" from the guys in the troop thankful for what he did.

10-07-2003, 08:49
food service ops

SGT Rock
10-07-2003, 23:30
Ohhhh, OK, now I get it. I'm a little slow.

Rain Man
10-08-2003, 08:13
Originally posted by dixicritter
I promised SGT Rock I would post this part of the troop newsletter here so y'all would have the info. Thank you again to all who are expressing interest.

Dixiecritter/SGT Rock,

I am a high school PTO president in Nashville, TN. Plus, I am on a Parents Advisory Council for ALL public schools in Nashville.

I would like to share this idea with them all... HOWEVER, I know I'm going to be asked for more specifics than "send stuff to this APO address." SORRY.

Is there any actual person with an actual email address I can give to other PTO Presidents when they ask? "Local" US ... or service man or woman in Iraq? ANY at all?

It would be a big help and ensure a lot more participation.

Thanks!... and I do think this is a great idea and a worthwhile cause.

Rain Man

SGT Rock
10-08-2003, 14:21

My address here in Baghdad. I will be out in the field for four days then I will be back around the 14th

10-13-2003, 07:28
Not to be a bad apple, but we have enough schooling problems here in the USA. Im sorry your over there Rock and I can Empathize with your family. But I've had enough of that country draining us. Its bad enough we are paying 300 million bucks for 2 week forlongs. Nothing against you Rock but we already did this late sixtys early seventys.:mad:

Trail Dog
10-15-2003, 15:04
Hey Rock, I aint sorry your over there i am glad. Glad because its always reasuring to know there are some fine outstanding motivated and skilled NCO's such as yourself to keep things running smoothly and keep some of the brass in line.

I'm goign to spread the word as much as i can. I hope everyone stops bitchin' about their problems and realizes the only way out of Iraq is to fix Iraq, or like the First Sgt said, if we dont do it now his sons and all the children today will find themselves back there for round three.

Good job sarg, if i ever decide to go Active duty i'll be sure to find my way to your unit. Rock on, stay safe, and keep up the good work.

11-21-2003, 12:47
A lot of needs must be met here in the U.S. before we worry about and help other countries.

Take, take and never give, Mssr. Wolf?

11-21-2003, 15:18
Lol, the Sheep of America.

I hate to get into political arguments on this site, but simply posting this is asking for one. Sgt. Rock I have the utmost respect for you supporting this forum, and don't mean this as an attack to you whatsoever.

Reality is Nature folks, we live it every day, but most don't see the abused gerbil powering the relays for our comfortable lives. Living comfortably is a cruel thing, and will become much crueler as world population increases. So I guess what the hey, send in that $20 if it makes you feel good. Everyone needs some catharsis.

And as Lone Wolf said, the ravine of sickness and malnutrition opens up far before you leave American borders. Home of the free, the brave, and the greedy (and a few other names). And anyone who feels they should slam Lone Wolf should come down off their cross, because there sure are alot of people who could use the wood to burn...

steve hiker
11-21-2003, 15:25
With all due repect for Sgt. Rock, I do not think we should be in Iraq in the first place, much less spending American tax dollars or anything else to "rebuild" the country or support its schools. The only reason Bush sent troops over there was for political reasons and/or to finish a vendetta match started by his Dad.

Yes, I know we're one world, and yes I see the argument that supporting the locals will in a practical way help protect the U.S. troops. But the whole thing stinks. With all the money we've been pouring into that hole in the middle of nowhere, we could be cleaning up the environment or improving schools here in the good old U.S.A.

Jack Tarlin
11-21-2003, 15:39
This whole argument is getting ridiculous....if you don't want to contribute to this cause (which I think is a perfectly worthy one), then don't. Like any charity, taking part in this one is entirely voluntary.

However, Rock and others have quite rightly pointed out that programs such as this are one way for the Iraqi people to get to know Americans in a very different way from what they've been told by their government, press, some religious leaders, etc. However you may feel about the war and our presence over there, or however you may feel about unmet social needs and problems here at home, it canot be argued that ANYTHING that helps make us more friends in that part of the world is a good thing, particularly if it involves helping younger people, and helps them feel more positively about America and Americans. It also cannot be disputed that co-operative programs such as this can also make Iraquis feel better about their "occupiers" and can help negate some of the sentiments and propaganda that pro-Saddam forces and much of the Arab media are telling them. It is inevitable that programs such as this, that help the Iraqi people see a friendly, human side to Americans can only be a positive thing; this will inevitably help to make things easier for for servicepeople over there who have to deal with the local citizenry on a daily basis. For generations now, young people in the Arab world have been force-fed lies and slanders about this country and the West, and they grow up to hate us----look at the 19 young people, mostly Saudis, who murdered almost 3,000 Americans on 11 September 2001. How do you think they got that way? Children are not BORN haters---they are taught that by their elders, and the actions of their adulthood is directly connected to what they are taught, and what they experience in their youth. Seems to me that ANY program that helps to show young minds a different view of America and the West can only be a positive thing.

I think Rock's idea is a good one, and I hope lots of folks participate.

11-21-2003, 15:42
Actually Bush Sr was not for going into Iraq for Saddam due to the very quagmire we face now.

This is a war for resources as population increases, and we need ever more to keep our country afloat above the masses.


Hey Jack, many of the things we think those people "are told" they experience. America isn't exactly a saint to the populations of the world. "Ok muslims of the middle-east, here is a new basketball hoop and coke machine. Here you go Israel, $3Bn in military arms and aid."


While the influences of childhood certainly are one hand in the molding process of an individual, the other hand is what that child observes in the world.

SGT Rock
11-22-2003, 04:11
Why I certanly agree that there are a lot of things that needed to be mended at home, it has been my experience that many people that deny the need to send aid to forign countries because of conditions at home will rarely ever give a cent or lift a finger to help those same fellow countrymen for whatever reason they decide to pick - like "there is already welfare" or "I already pay too much in taxes", etc. I wasn't ever asking that we set up a government program to do this - those really aren't there anyway, all I was asking was for some civil action at the local level. See, lots of people ask what they can send me to make my life more comfortable, and the honest answer is even on the worst day here I have it better than a lot of the local people. If someone wants to help out a soldier over here by sending packages or letters, or whatever, maybe some of that generocity can by channled into support for the local schools.

And here is why:

As I alluded to before and others have said as well, it does make a difference. I often get a chance to talk to Iraqi people, and almost all of them (except ex Batthists who now miss the power to take others' lives and the perks like graft) are very glad we came. They wanted us to do it in 1991 and are madder that we didn't than for any other reason. BUT they still don't like us and want us to leave - who can blame them?

The root for much of this dislike is what they perceive as American traits that they have ben indoctrinated into since they were young. Talk to almost every one of them and they thought we would be getting drunk, raping the women, killing people for fun, giving their kids pornography, etc. Everything we do that shows them we are people just like them changes this opinion to the point that now some of the ones I talk to laugh at their religious and tribal leaders that are still stuck on the same old note and won't let go of the past. It reminds me of some of the older folks when I was growing up in the south that still belived the racial stereo types they grew up with.

The ones we talk to now wish we would stop using tanks to patrol because we mess up the plants and sidewalks. They hope we don't pull out to fast so the Baathists and the religious fanatics don't take over. They want their own government but not at the cost of another corrupt one. They want us to hit the terrorists and Baathists harder than we have been.

Back t the subject...

Anyway, I don't want anyone to do anything they don't want to. I never wanted this to turn into some people's declaration of not supporting the war, opinion points against giving to others, or soap box against American Society, or whatever. I was just trying to re-direct some of that generousness that marks the hiking community in general to a cause which I belive is a good one and may help someday to make the country safer by making more friends and discredit more of the fanatical haters over here which seem to be the biggest true threat to security. If you don't want to, or don't care, or whatever, just ignore this thread. Go talk about hiking and I'll see you at the campfire someday.

Thanks to all of you again for keeping the Whiteblaze an interesting place.

11-22-2003, 08:32
Actually Bush Sr was not for going into Iraq for Saddam due to the very quagmire we face now.

This is a war for resources as population increases, and we need ever more to keep our country afloat above the masses.


Hey Jack, many of the things we think those people "are told" they experience. America isn't exactly a saint to the populations of the world. "Ok muslims of the middle-east, here is a new basketball hoop and coke machine. Here you go Israel, $3Bn in military arms and aid."


While the influences of childhood certainly are one hand in the molding process of an individual, the other hand is what that child observes in the world.

Raging Hampster: I seem to recall a UN resolution that called for Iraq to be removed from Kuwait. There was no UN mandate for the coalition to occupy Iraq so I think that's why Bush, Sr stopped when he did.
You might be interested to know that children of the middle east "observe" the world through the eyes of their adults.
SGT Rock: Thanks for being there for all of us. I hope you get lots of support for this very worthy project.

11-22-2003, 12:09
Directly from the Mouth of Bush Sr on GW1...
"While we hoped that popular revolt or coup would topple Saddam, neither the U.S. nor the countries of the region wished to see the breakup of the Iraqi state. We were concerned about the long-term balance of power at the head of the Gulf. Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq, would have violated our guideline about not changing objectives in midstream, engaging in "mission creep," and would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. We had been unable to find Noriega in Panama, which we knew intimately. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under those circumstances, furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-cold war world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the U.N.'s mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different--and perhaps barren--outcome."Bush the lesser bit off way more than he could chew when he sent in special forces and started dropping bombs on Baghdad. Not only did he not have any political allies (that held any weight with the exception of Britain), but he blatantly abused the Powell Doctrine by not having a plan for what to do once we pulled down the statue of Saddam in Baghdad. Occupying a foreign country is dangerous, and I thought we had learned that lesson before. Much of what Sgt. Rock is asking for us to send in should have been thought of by the morons who planned the attack. Basic utilities, removal of the dead stacked like cord-wood in ally ways, and public services. Although Iraq was certainly run by a crazy @$$hole, it was for the most part an orderly society. The insanity that followed our arrival in Baghdad is a testament to this, as is the deaths of great soldiers like Sgt Rock that continue every day.

As far as the children of the world being automated robots programmed by their parents for life, I'd have to disagree with you. Most of us have traits and beliefs very different from our parents. When a kid in Iraq loses both his arms from playing with a cluster bomblet that didn't go off, he doesn't care if that was meant for Iraqi troops. When his country has been manipulated by the US, and kept under an Iron thumb from both his insane leader and us for his entire life, you can understand why he hates us both. When the first thing we went after when invading Iraq were the Oil Wells and not the protection of the innocent, you can see why. I obviously can go on and on but will spare you from it.

It's darkly humorous to me that we're scraping up support to send over college-ruled notebook paper, and then sending billions over in arms to that region for various 3rd parties. But like I said, everyone needs some catharsis. You'd be better off giving your senator a call, or showing up and demanding that the 3 Billion aimed for Israeli weapons next year could be better spent on bettering the lives of those children. Just an idea.

I think I've said what I feel, and I'll leave this thread to people who want to send over some erasers and white-out (which when lit on fire is a chemical weapon, so you might want to forego that one). Anyhoo, I'll shut-up now unless prodded again.

12-05-2003, 05:45
We have alot of poor school districs in america that need help first!!

12-06-2003, 01:44
Goshawk: Just wondering...are you helping any of them?

12-06-2003, 01:48
Goshawk: Just wondering...are you helping any of them?

Oooooh! Perfect!

12-06-2003, 11:22
We have alot of poor school districs in america that need help first!!

Yeah. But, there are people in the World besides Americans, too. Believe me, America is blessed and I am fortunate to live in this great country. But, with all of the blessings comes a certain responsibility to help others that are less fortunate. Please don't tell me that you are equating the school districts of the United States with those of Iraq!

Brushy Sage
02-05-2004, 13:41
Once when I was in Vietnam, a young soldier asked me how I could justify wearing a military uniform and being a part of that war (I was a chaplain). I told him I didn't have time to struggle with philosophical and/or theological positions -- that I was just doing the best I could, like everybody else. I believe it's true of most people in a wartime situation -- whether they are active duty military and in the danger zone, or civilians who have differing points of view about the country's direction. We are all doing the best we can.