First Tony Sgroi talks to the administrators of a small orphanage in Ibrahim Bin Ali, northwest of Baghdad, May 22.
BAGHDAD (May 28, 2008) – No conflict is without tragedies and this one is no different. In the midst of war, children sometimes get overlooked.
Iraq has many orphanages filled with children, but for one in Ibrahim Bin Ali, their “knights” in armor arrived.
The “Knights” of 3rd Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Multi-Nation Division – Baghdad have taken a special interest in the orphanage and its children since their arrival in the area in January.
First Lt. Tony Sgroi, native of Wheeling, W.V., and “Knights” platoon leader said his Soldiers adopted the orphanage as “one of the regular stops during a patrol.”
Soldiers have become friends with the children and always evoke eager cheers and smiles when they hand out candy and pens during their visits. Some of the platoon’s Soldiers have gotten their families involved as well, “My wife sends my care packages loaded with candy for the kids.” said Sgt. Bryan Doe, native of Boston, “You see many of them have lost parents and loved ones to the insurgent presence here, and your heart goes out to them.”
The children are not the only ones who enjoy seeing their “Knights,” the adult workers welcome the platoon with open arms at each visit and are almost as excited as the children when they see the Strykers roll up.
There is always a hint of sadness when the Soldiers leave, but they all know the their “Knights” in armor will return.