View Full Version : Boots on the ground put shoes on feet

09-03-03, 08:31 AM
Boots on the ground put shoes on feet
Submitted by: Marine Forces Europe
Story Identification Number: 20039283247
Story by 1stLt. Justin M. Colvin

KRTSANISI, Georgia(Sept. 2, 2003) -- U.S. Marines and Soldiers from the Georgia Train and Equip Program donated close to 100 pairs of new shoes and school supplies to the children of the Dzegvi Children's Center Sept. 1.
After collecting over 1000 lari (approx. $500) around camp at Advanced Operating Base, Krtsanisi, the Task Force GTEP volunteers headed to the orphanage to play basketball and soccer with the children in their newly purchased shoes.
In a developing nation where resources are scarce, many of these children were desperately in need of clothing and shoes that fit properly. "This is incredible," said Maj. Kris Stillings, outgoing commanding officer and Philadelphia native. "It's a very good thing to see all these happy little feet running around now."
Stillings' team of Marines successfully wrapped up training Aug. 30, and has been relieved by a new phase commanded by Maj. Charles Western from Sanger, Calif. The selected Georgian military units about to be trained by Western's Marines will provide security and stability to the citizens of Georgia and the region.
Although the mission takes priority, the U.S. service members of Task Force GTEP have made use of their free time to aid the local community. "The things we're doing here today for these kids will leave a lifelong impression," said Capt. Justin Ansel, GTEP team leader and New Orleans native. "It gives you a feeling inside that you can't get when we're out in the field, even after the best day of training."
The efforts of the U.S. service members coordinated by Capt. Teresa Ovalle, outgoing GTEP public affairs officer and White Bear Lake, Minn. native, impressed officials at the orphanage and were a welcome site to the children there. "I'm very happy the American military came today, they far exceeded our expectations," said Gia Razmadze, director, Dzegvi Children's Center. "I feel like I've known them for many years."


Maj. Kris Stillings and Capt. Teresa Ovalle put new shoes and socks on a Georgian boy named Giorgi.
Photo by: 1stLt. Justin M. Colvin


Capt. Justin Ansel and Capt. Teresa Ovalle sit with a Georgian boy who's not quite sure what to make of his new blanket.
Photo by: 1stLt. Justin M. Colvin