OIC In Action

Spring/Summer 2003 / Operation Iraqi Freedom I

These children are all part of one family that lives in a small one room house. The boys are buffalo herdsman. They live and farm on property directly behind the University in Ad Diwaniyah (south of Baghdad 150 Kilometers). The Marine Corps used the war torn university for a logistics headquarters during OIF I. The Marines also coordinated a reconstruction project to restore the university prior to their departure. Maintaining relations with the local farmers that surrounded the area was important to the cooperative relations that were maintained during our presence there. There was a tearful gathering of locals that fare welled us when we left. In May 03, I visited the small one room home of this family with personnel of the Marine's Civil Affairs Group. The boys were proud of their buffalo heard and curious about the camera. They enjoyed seeing themselves on the LED display. The little girls were much more shy than their brothers. Like little feral cats, they peered from safe positions behind things as they watched their brothers interact with the Marines. It took some coaxing to get them to come out for the pictures but their beautiful smiles made it well worth the effort. Their eyes were dark and shinny, their lashes thick as a brush and their checks had a natural blush that many can only imitate with make up.

LtCol Lon VomBaur
I MEF, G4, Supply Officer