Capt. Chris Sanchez
4th Bn., 31st Inf. Regt. 2nd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. (LI)
YUSUFIYAH, Iraq — Soldiers of the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI) receive attention for their rapid air assaults and fierce fighting. But in the village of Rushdi Mullah, Iraq, they are now known for their tenderness toward local children.
On Dec. 25, the Soldiers of Company B, 4-31 at Patrol Base Rushdi Mullah were visited by two young boys seeking medical help. One of the boys, Raad, had been shot several weeks before when terrorists wanted to use his family’s house to attack the patrol base. When Raad’s father refused them entry, one of the terrorists shot the boy.
The Soldiers treated Ra’ad after the attack and transported him to Ibn Sina hospital in Baghdad’s International Zone, and have been changing the dressings on his wounds regularly since the attack.
They changed the dressings again on Christmas, and also treated Ra’ad’s brother, Ahmed, for a skin rash affecting the boy’s scalp.
But it wasn’t all medical treatment.
“The Soldiers of 4-31 care a great deal for the people of Rushdi Mullah,” said Capt. Christopher Vitale, a native of Houston, Penn., and commander of Co. B. “They have gathered donations and provided soccer cleats and other equipment for the children of the town out of their own pockets.”
The people of Rushdi Mullah are responding by providing information on terror to the Soldiers, forging a strong relationship, with benefit to all involved.