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2 DOD schools win excellence award

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Two Defense Department schools were among the 2008 winners of the Pete Taylor Partnership of Excellence Award, which was announced recently at a conference in Dallas.

The award recognizes partnerships between school districts and military installations that help support programs for military children and dependents.

U.S. Army Garrison Schweinfurt, U.S. Army 172nd Brigade, the 1-91 CAV Group and Schweinfurt Elementary school won the 2008 award for supporting families of deployed soldiers, according to a press release.

The Defense Commissary Agency and Kaiserslautern Middle School won for its nutrition awareness program, called "Food for Thought."

The awards were presented Aug. 3 at the 10th annual Military Child Education Coalition conference.

The MCEC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the transition and educational issues affecting military children.

Petraeus discusses aid with Lebanon officialsBEIRUT, Lebanon — The top U.S. military commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, met with officials in Lebanon on Wednesday to discuss American aid to the country’s army and political cooperation.

The American commander, whose visit was unannounced, met with President Michel Suleiman, himself a former army chief, and the two discussed U.S. assistance to the Lebanese army, including equipment and training, according to a statement from Suleiman’s office.

The United States has sharply increased its military aid to Lebanon since the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel in a show of support for the government of Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, which has been under pressure from the Shiite militant Hezbollah and its allies in parliament.

American military assistance totaled $270 million in 2007, more than five times the amount a year earlier.

Petraeus, who was accompanied by a U.S. military delegation, also held a meeting at the Defense Ministry with acting army commander Maj. Gen. Shawki al-Masri.

Marine killed by bomb in western AfghanistanKABUL, Afghanistan — A U.S. Marine died of wounds sustained when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in western Afghanistan, the U.S.-led coalition said Wednesday.

The Marine was patrolling in the southwestern Farah province at the time of the blast on Monday evening, the statement said.

The victim was assigned to the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Marine Corps Special Operations Command, it said.

Separately, another coalition unit killed "several militants" and detained two others while searching the compound of a militant commander in the northern Kapisa province on Tuesday.

"Several armed militants engaged the force who responded with small-arms fire, killing the militants," another coalition statement said. The troops discovered bomb making materials and "barricade-type prepared fighting positions inside the compound," it said.

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