American soldiers play with Iraqi kids

Andrew Sullivan ( has published a great letter from the father of an American marine:

Members of the US 3rd Infantry Division
near Baghdad Airport with a portrait
of Saddam Hussein rejoicing after
the atrocities of 9/11. The same soldiers
are now playing with Iraqi kids.

My favorite story is about an amusement park that the coalition forces refurbished for the kids in the region. Like children anywhere, the kids were eager to try the rides, so the PTB decided to put one Marine in each car with the kids.

My son told me that he had his M-16 locked and loaded between his legs and then about a dozen little kids climbed in the car. No problem, short ride? Not quite. The ride started and the operators couldn't shut it off. 20 minutes later, the wheel was still going around and around and around. Moving on to the merry-go round, my son was ordered to ride guard on a horse.

They filled up the carousel with eager kids . . . and couldn't get the ride started. Rather than disappoint the kids, the Marines hooked up chains to the ride and ran around in circles pulling the merry-go-round. The kids were delighted and the Marines, wearing full body armor in 130 degree heat, got quite a workout.

Every package I send has, at my son's request, candy for the kids. He plays soccer with them and teases them like he would his own brother and sister. In the process, he's building some very positive relationships.

The kids love the Marines. And most of their parents do too. The mainstream press seems to focus on negativity. There is much positive progress.

Hopefully the Islamic fascists from Al-Qaeda, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Iranian Hezbollah will not influence these Iraqi kids - maybe they'll remember their ride with the American soldiers before turning to Jihad (Islamic holy war).

Posted by David Melle
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