honors Soldier, family sacrifices
By Joe Burlas and Sgt. Reeba Critser
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, September 24, 2004) -- While in the United States to thank the American people for freeing Iraq from Saddam Hussein’s oppressive reign, Iraqi’s top government official also honored Soldiers and their families at the Pentagon.
Early September 24, 2004, Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi visited Arlington National Cemetery where he laid a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns in honor of those service members who have died in Iraq. He then stopped by the Pentagon where he met with more than a dozen service members who had returned to the Washington, D.C., area after serving in Iraq and 10 Army spouses whose husbands are currently in Iraq.
“I am very proud of your sacrifice to defend freedom, (to) protect human rights,” Awalli told the group. “On behalf of Iraq, I salute you for (your) bravery and commitment and look forward to a brighter future without evil and terrorism. That is something each of you has contributed to.”
The Pentagon visit was personal for Lieuenant Colonel Fareed Betros and his wife Joan who both worked in Baghdad during the past year. Fareed worked with the Coalition Provisional Authority and Joan, with a contractor that produced children’s and women’s TV programs for the Iraqi people.
“I’m seeing the person who is responsible for Iraq and he’s giving us a report on what’s going on there and what is planned for the future, said Fareed who helped establish the stipend program that makes monthly payments to members of the disbanded Iraqi Army during his May 2003 to July 2004 tour with Central Command.
Major Daniel Schnock served with the 3rd Infantry Division when it crossed into Iraq in January 2003.
“I’m looking at a man who has gone through as much, if not more, than the rest of us in the military -- he represents all the good things coming out of Iraq and its freedom,” said Schnock, currently working as a staff officer, Army G4. “Since crossing the border going into Iraq 18 months ago, who would have thought I would be looking at the prime minister of Iraq (face to face.)”
Schnock viewed Allawi address a joint session of Congress with other Soldier from the public gallery on September 23, 2004.
illawi has served as the prime minister for the Iraq interim government since coalition forces transferred political power back to the Iraqi people on June 28, 2004.
Iraqi Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, accompanied by Major General Craig Hackett, places a wreath at
the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery, Friday, September 24, 2004
Posted: 24 September 2004