March 17, 2008 —
Women from Adwaniyah and Hawr Rajab distribute clothing March 11 to children of Sons of Iraq killed during the fight against insurgents to secure the town of Adwaniyah. (U.S. Army photo)
FOB KALSU, Iraq (March 17, 2008) — On March 11, U.S. Soldiers, local leaders and women’s representatives showed support through gifts of clothing for widows and children of Sons of Iraq who sacrificed for their country.
The drive was led by Soldiers from 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, currently attached to the 2nd BCT, 3rd Inf. Div. They were joined by Adwaniyah town council leaders, the Adwaniyah town council women’s representative and the Hawr Rajab town council women’s committee.
Like the U.S. and Iraqi army troops who helped secure Adwaniyah from insurgents in late 2007, the SoI sacrificed greatly to bring peace to their community. Many of the volunteers paid the ultimate price for freedom.
Though the sacrifices were for a brighter future, many families were left without their primary source of income. Widows were left to provide for themselves or rely on assistance from extended family to survive.
The widows gathered at the Adwaniyah southern elementary school to receive the gifts of clothing. Following the distribution, the women of Adwaniyah and Hawr Rajab attended a luncheon to get to know each other and discuss issues affecting children and widows in both towns.
The Adwaniyah women picked up tips on how to form their own women’s council modeled after Hawr Rajab’s recently formed women’s committee.
“The women in this area are very determined to build their communities back into areas where they can feel safe, find employment and send their children to school,” said 1st Lt. Cynthia Peters, 6-8th Cav. Regt. women’s affairs representative.
The organization will give women a more powerful voice in their community and build on their sacrifices and hard work, said Hazim Shaker Ahmed, Adwaniyah town council leader.
Ahmed praised the women, saying that by staying in Adwaniyah during the fight to secure their town, they provided support, strength and motivation for their husbands combating insurgents.
Peters, a native of Huntington, Ind., said the women’s efforts are essential.
“They take much initiative on their own and are willing to put in the hard work that it will take to bring back the displaced families and enhance their lives,” she said.