Wednesday, August 08, 2007

US Civil Affairs- Peace Through Puppets

One article lead us to dig deeper into this phenomenon: Peace Through Puppets.


'The reaction was immediate when Army 1st Sgt. Bruce L. Reges strode into the classroom in the Baghdad suburb of Baqubah, in the volatile Diyala province.

At 6-foot-5 and wearing full body armor, Reges, 57, looked fearsome to the schoolchildren. Outside, two Stryker armored vehicles blocked the street. A heavily armed security detail was checking out the roof and other classrooms.

Reges is assigned to an Army civil affairs unit out of Fort Bragg, N.C., working to reconstruct and support schools, irrigation projects and honey farms in Diyala. The team was visiting the school to assess what could be done to help, but the young students were terrified.

"Two of the girls started to cry and escape somehow, and the teacher had to calm them down and tell them that we were there to help them, not to hurt them," Reges recalled. "It was emotionally tough for me to see a child so traumatized by U.S. soldiers that they reacted that way."'

You can guess at the rest of the article- an email to his mom, the inevitable shipment of handpuppets assembled by concerned mothers in Reston, Louisiana and now Civl Affairs soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq are not to be found without a 'puppet in their pocket', so to speak. As with the best things in life, you can donoate money via PayPal on the website (20 USD = 12 soft puppets), in addition to enjoying photos of thoroughly softened US troops in body armor, wrap-around sunglasses and hand puppets... Other armed forces can seemingly request their own puppets with a simple mail to