COVER STORYU.S., Iraqi experts developing plan to preserve Babylon, build local tourism industrySoldiers with the 172nd Infantry Brigade are exploring the ruins as part of a U.S.-Iraqi effort to preserve the ancient city and plan for the return of Western tourists. Members of the brigade’s 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment escorted a group of U.S. heritage tourism experts to the ruins last week for the first of several visits to develop a preservation and tourism plan for the area. • Story and photo gallery
Helping kids through ‘really bad days’The Army will place mental health counselors in two Defense Department school communities in Germany in the coming academic year to test a new program aimed at combating the stress students face when their parents go to war. With soldiers’ repeated deployments, children in military families have begun to experience mental health problems similar to those seen in their parents. • Story
Hotel workers banking on Western touristsMore than 100 Iraqi tourism workers will go back to work when U.S. forces leave their base in the city of Hillah later this year. The workers, formerly employed by the Babylon Tourism Hotel in Hillah, will return when U.S. forces move from the hotel to a patrol base on the edge of the city. • Story
Tourism industry thriving in IraqIt may be hard for Westerners to believe, but one industry that’s booming, despite the global recession, is Iraqi tourism. Provinces like Najaf and Karbala, off-limits to outsiders during Saddam Hussein’s long reign, are seeing massive influxes of visitors, mostly Shiite pilgrims from places like Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and even Canada. • Story
Michael Keehan: ‘Everybody has an instinct to survive’Tech. Sgt. Michael Keehan braved enemy artillery, tanks and a blinding sandstorm to call in airstrikes that kept the soldiers in his unit alive during the invasion of Iraq. Keehan, who left the Air Force this year as a master sergeant, was awarded the Silver Star for his actions in March and April 2003, when he was the head joint terminal attack controller for the 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division Mechanized. • Story
Spouse CallsA weekly column in Stripes' Scene magazine by Terri Barnes, a military wife and mother of three who lives and writes in Germany. • This week's column • Terri Barnes' blog
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