• E-mail Clarissa Ward
Spending time with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened my eyes to another set of unsung heroes here in Iraq. We hear about the soldiers who risk their lives daily, living in the harshest and most dangerous conditions imaginable. But there is an entire coterie of people who come to Iraq who we don't hear so much about. They come to lend their expertise, whether it be in politics or economics, engineering or security, in order to help the people of Iraq.
One such group is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They're a mixture of civilians, reservists and active duty soldiers — the men and women that devote their every waking hour to a slew of daunting tasks, such as rebuilding schools, modernizing electricity grids, improving the oil and gas industry, and building hospitals. And, it seems there is nothing these guys don't do.
When I was with them in Basra, I went to tour a children's hospital in a dangerous part of town. It's not a neighborhood where you would want to spend much time, and I felt relieved and fortunate when we arrived back at the camp. The people working on that specific project go out regularly to the site. And the big difference is, whereas I get to stand in front of a camera and tell America after I do something risky, these people go about their work with relatively little fanfare.
There are hundreds of doctors, engineers, academics and architects who leave their families and travel to one of the most dangerous places in the world to try to make a difference. Its bleak, it's hot, it's tough … and it's lonely and incredibly stressful. But they do it anyway — and for that they deserve to be recognized.
• Click here to read yesterday's installment from Basra, Iraq
Clarissa Ward is a reporter based out of Beirut, Lebanon. She has reported for the FOX News Channel from Beirut and Baghdad, covering stories such as Saddam's execution and the current unrest in Lebanon.