12 Dec 08
Combat Outpost Meade, vicinity of Baghdad, IraqIn 2006 the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Muhammad Yunus for his work in giving micro-grants to people needing a little help to improve their small businesses. He showed the world how grants as little as $1,000 could change the lives of those (high-potential, low income) people. This week, I began handing out micro-grant applications to local sheiks (who will help me find and nominate the best candidates from the area).
I wish I could say that I thought of the idea. I am merely helping to facilitate the program in our area. The idea is simple yet powerful: meaningful growth and improvement can come from humble beginnings. This isn’t just an Iraqi phenomenon either; this micro-grant program is growing in the United States as well (see www.microgrants.net).
The types of applications I’ll be looking for will buy tools for that small engine repair shop; it will buy refrigeration for the local butcher to keep his products safe and hygienic. It will add a sewing machine to the local clothing shop, it will add workers to these shops, it will expand the economic base and capacity of this area.
I am excited about this program and look forward to seeing the results. We could not have initiated this program without first securing the area. As I have repeatedly said in local sheik council meetings, security in the area is our foundation. Once we have that, we can build on that security with economic initiatives. Without security, nothing else can happen. It is amazing how many problems get solved when an area is secure and the local population has a paycheck to spend and invest.
I forgot to mention a minor detail that occurred in the last month: We moved! As the byline indicates, we live at COP Meade, in the vicinity of Baghdad. We moved out here on 11 Nov 08 — Veterans Day.
We have a new mailing address (don’t worry; all those packages have been forwarded to us). Our new mailing address is:
55-17 MiTT, COP Meade
Task Force 4-27 FA
APO AE 09322
We had put a lot of hard work into building our first home (at Mustang Ranch, aka Patrol Base Jedi). When we had it about 75 percent complete, we got the order to move to another location. Talk about taking the wind out of your sails.
The good news is that, after one month of prepping, building and improving our current location, we are very happy with our new place. We are now embedded with our new U.S. parent organization that has their HQ here at COP Meade. Truth be told, we have the best setup on this outpost (just don’t tell anyone and let the secret out!).
A big thank you to Bowie Elementary
I would like to give a special thanks to all the children and teachers from Bowie Elementary School in Sulphur Springs. This past week, Team Jedi received a very special surprise from them: a huge load of boxes from them filled with all kinds of great treats, letters and drawings for us. We really enjoyed reading all the thoughtful notes and artwork from the students – I have several on my wall right now. And especially to the First Grade teacher, Amy Bowers Harden (a SSHS classmate of mine) – thanks, Amy!
I have one more very important thing to say this week:
GO WILDCATS! WIN STATE!!!!
The Jedi are pulling for you!
Jedi 6, out…
|< Prev||Next >|