Assumption of Command

16 July 2005

Operation Teddy Drop


Has that bear been to Airborne school. I guess so:

Teddy Troopers 'Jump' Into Arms of Iraqi Children
CAMP TAJI, Iraq, July 15, 2005 - They can be seen parachuting into various areas around Baghdad -- specially trained individuals recruited during Operation Iraqi Freedom 3, whose primary mission is to bring smiles to the faces of Iraqi children.
[...]
The commander for this unique operation is Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Randy M. Kirgiss, a pilot with Company C, 4th Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment (Assault Helicopter). He said he started the airborne mission as a way to impact the lives of Iraqi children.

Kirgiss began the operation in mid-April, inspired by previous humanitarian efforts he had witnessed, as well as by Col. Gail Halvorsen, the "Berlin candy bomber" who dropped candy to German children during the Berlin Airlift.
[...]
More than 900 Para-Bears have bravely "jumped" since the start of the operation
How about those Brave bears! This is pretty neat. I like to hear stories about helping the kids.

If you were a poverty stricken 6 year old, wouldn't it be exciting to see one of these coming from the sky just for you:

Update: It is nice to know that we are doing nice things for children here in Iraq. Mudville explains to us how the bad guys are treating the children differently:

Building Small Coffins
But the first bomb was a setup; the terrorists knew it would draw a crowd of children for the real attack to come.
    Then a second suicide bomber barreled down the street toward the U.S. and Iraqi forces β€” and the children who surrounded them. And then a third. The children were no longer observers of the attack, but its victims.

    "I saw dead bodies scattered like sheep," said Rashid Salih, 67, describing the scene where his grandson was killed.

    Children's shoes, clothing and crumpled red bicycles decorated with feathers littered the street.

    Iraqi health officials said 35 of the 42 fatalities from Thursday's blasts were children.

    "What really hurt me was that most of the killed or injured people were children," said Moyad Ismail, 25, who saw the U.S. soldier handing out candy minutes before the second explosion. "The children were making a ring around the soldiers."

    The disaster sent panic through the neighborhood. By Thursday afternoon, nearby Yarmouk Hospital was overrun with parents roaming the hallways and makeshift emergency rooms, looking for their children.

    At the morgue, stunned mothers and fathers left with only body parts to take home and bury.
The difference is striking.