They are some of the youngest faces in the country of Iraq.
They’re also behind bars, doing time for crimes they didn’t commit.
In Iraq if a woman is arrested she’s cast out from her family, and she has to take her kids to jail too.
On this day, soldiers with the fourth i-d are stopping by to hand out gifts they’ve purchased with their own money, or gathered through donations. “We saw the conditions, we saw the kids and felt sorry for them being stuck up in prison with their mothers so people started bringing candy with them,” says SGT. Jonathan Machuca.
The children here basically have two options when they turn five years old. They can return to an extended family, if they’re accepted there, or go to an orphanage while their mothers stay behind.
These american soldiers stop by once or twice a week, but usually only a few get to see the conditions...the experience leaves them wrung out emotionally and worried about the kids futures.
For now, it’s the way the system operates, and troops can do little but
try to add what little comfort they can.