U.S. soldiers, Iraqi National Police and Neighborhood Action Council members handed out 40 wheelchairs to the disabled in Oubaidy in eastern Baghdad last Friday. The event took place at a school near the main market in the area.

As the names of the physically and mentally disabled were called from a list, their family members helped them into their new wheelchairs. A popular figure in the community — especially among the children for his singing of Arabic songs — Capt. Adisa King, commander of Company A, 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, patted the shoulders and touched the heads of the men and children who rolled past in the new wheelchairs.

The day before, Spc. Charles Moore of Company B, 401st Civil Affairs Battalion spent almost 12 hours putting the wheelchairs together.

With violence easing in the area, the infantry soldiers can intensify their efforts elsewhere such as handing out wheelchairs.

"It’s slowed down out here," said Spc. Ronald Keenan with Company A, 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. "After General Petraeus’ troop surge, violence has gone down a lot so we have more time to focus on the people."

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