By Pfc. Justin Naylor
1st Cavalry Division public affairs
FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, KIRKUK, Iraq - Tomato sauce, rice, canned beans. It doesn't seem like a lot, but it can be the difference between a full stomach and going to sleep hungry.
Many families in the Hiteen neighborhood of Hawijah, Iraq, have gone hungry in the past, but 12th Iraqi Army soldiers and soldiers from 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, brought bags of food and a message of hope to these families July 14.
"Hiteen has been recognized by the Hawijah city council as the poorest area of Hawijah," said 1st Lt. Sean Spencer, a Sierra Vista, Ariz., native and the battalion's medical officer.
"It really made them happy, especially when they saw us with the Iraqi army," said Spc. Andrew Harris, an Ogden, Utah, native and a forward observer with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment.
"I think they picked the perfect town for this," he continued.
"We don't really get to travel through (Hiteen) often. But when you come through there and give them food, it makes a big difference."
According to Harris, the Iraqi army is still working to visit all of the small villages in the Kirkuk province.
"This showed the residents of this neighborhood a side of the IA (Iraqi army) maybe they didn't know," said Spencer. "It shows they are capable of helping the local residents and also has the added benefit of helping alleviate any misconceptions there might be of the IA in the past."
Eighty of the 165 families in the village received bags during this drop, and the Iraqi army is planning to distribute more aid in the near future.
"One bag of food can make a big difference if you're hungry," Harris said.