I didn't get a chance to wish all of you who are mothers a Happy Mother's Day, especially after the tragedy that struck at that time when we lost one of our soldiers, so on this Father's Day, I will just say I appreciate all of our mothers and fathers who make/have made great sacrifices for all of us. I did send my mom a card and sent dad an email message. Dad reads my blog from Lafayette anyway, so Happy Father's Day, Pop! Your son is doing well. Send ice! Just kidding.
Within the past few days, the 225th engaged in some very important talks with our counterparts in Iraq as we continue to prepare for the June 30th Security Agreement deadline when combat soldiers are to be out of the major cities.
Iraqi Army engineers held a conference that we attended at Adnon Palace in the International Zone. The palace was formerly the home of Saddam Hussein's son-in-law, Adnon. The major conference discussion centered on preparedness, partnership, training, and operations. Without getting into great detail, mostly because of operational security reasons, the discussion was very useful and both sides will improve their efforts because of it. The work obviously does not stop with talk. Our engineers have their plates full with projects like clearing routes of IEDs, cleaning out debris from roadsides, general construction, and civil capacity (water, electricity, sewage service for us and Iraqis). We have plenty to do and will drive on well after June 30th.
Brig. Gen. Owen Monconduit listens to discussion with Iraqi engineer leaders during the Iraqi Army Engineer Conference.
Yesterday, we had a humanitarian mission in Beladiyat in eastern Baghdad. We provided security and transportation to haul dozens of wheelchairs to Iraqi citizens in need. The wheelchairs were donated by American businesses. It's an effort that's led by Brad Blauser, an American volunteer who may soon be featured as a "CNN Hero" for his wheelchair project.
Until next time, God bless.