By Army 1st Lt. Zack Boes
Special to American Forces Press Service
April 29, 2008 - Residents of the Hay Jasmen neighborhood in Musayyib, Iraq, soon will walk on improved roads instead of dirt and jagged rocks, part of transformation that has prompted a local leader to say he wants to change the community's name to reflect its new ambiance. The roads are nearly complete; workers are in the finishing stages of constructing gutters on the sides of the streets.
In addition to the road refinishings, a waste management project also is almost complete. Areas that previously appeared carpeted by trash are now nearly spotless.
As a result of these improvements, the neighborhood's mood has changed from despair to encouragement and guarded optimism, said Army Lt. Col. Timothy Newsome, from Homerville, Ga., commander of the 3rd Infantry Division's 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team.
In addition to the area being greatly enhanced by new roads and the clean-up, about 300 people have been employed because of these projects, Newsome said.
The neighborhood leader, or mukhtar, said he is so pleased with the outcome that he plans to change the area's name to "Beautiful Spring."
(Army 1st Lt. Zack Boes serves with the 3rd Infantry Division's 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office.)