The little girl with the beaney baby who saved a Marine convoy

Tim Chavez:

The little Iraqi girl would not move from the road where she sat.

She kept clutching the white Beanie Baby bear she had received only weeks earlier from a U.S. Marine. Now, a Marine convoy approached.

Here's how Gunnery Sgt. Mark Francis of the II Marine Expeditionary Force described what happened next:

''Our lead security vehicle stopped in the middle of the street. This is not normal and is very unsafe, so the following vehicles began to inquire over the radio. The lead vehicle reported a little girl sitting in the road and said she just would not budge.

''The command vehicle told the lead to simply go around her and to be kind as they did. The street was wide enough to allow this maneuver and so they waved to her as they drove around.

''As the vehicles went around her, one of the Marines soon saw her sitting there, and in her arms she was clutching a little bear that he had handed her a few patrols back. Feeling an immediate connection to the girl, he then radioed that the convoy was going to stop.

''The rest of the convoy paused as he got out to make sure she was OK. The little girl looked scared and concerned, but there was a warmth in her eyes toward him. As he knelt down to talk to her, she moved over and pointed to a mine in the road.

''Immediately a cordon was set as the Marine convoy assumed a defensive posture around the site.

''The mine was destroyed in place.''

Sgt. Francis received that incredible report from a patrol because it was his efforts that brought the Beanie Baby bear and other toys to Iraq. He had asked his church, his brother's mother-in-law and his wife to mail toys for the Iraqi kids.

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