“Bears for Balad” Update

    Back in February I wrote about Katie Ward, a 16 yr old high school student from Ashburn, who was collecting teddy bears to send to children in hospitals in Balad, Iraq.  She wanted to give the children whose lives have been disrupted by war “something physical to hold while they are in the hospital.”

    Here is an email that she and her dad, Gerry, received from Linda Robinson, who is the Program Manager of the USO in Balad:

    Hi Katie and Mr. Ward,

    All but a couple of the Teddy Bears have been distributed. I saved a few to have for when we are at the hospital to give out when we have wounded children.

    The unit that took them out to the children had so much fun giving them out. They came by to bring pictures and were so excited about the experience. It was fun to hear their enthusiasm. For all of them it was their first time to do that and they were so cute about it. One said he got kind of emotional watching the children have so much fun and thinking of his own. He said for these children this was a huge thing and meant so much. They told the children that a 16 year old girl named Katie from America had sent the teddy bears to them. One little girl named her teddy bear Katie. So you have a name sake in Iraq!

    Civil Affairs and the Mayor Cell have assured me that these pictures a fine.

    I hope you enjoy and Katie, again thank you.
    Linda Robinson

    Here are a few photos of the kids receiving their bears:

    Bears in Balad 1Bears in Balad

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