Social Worker Soldier Helps Children on 

Both Fronts

Napoleon Sadsad Dedicates American Flag to Foster Children

When Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Social Worker Napoleon Sadsad signed up for the Naval Reserves in 1985, he had no idea he would one day be sitting in a military convoy in Iraq being shot at. Sadsad served in Kuwait and Iraq from 

February 2003 through last August as part of the Naval Reserve Seabees in charge of heavy equipment operation assigned to the Marines.  

Napoleon Sadsad in Kuwait

On a daily basis, Sadsad and his fellow Reserves traveled with Marine convoys moving personnel 

and equipment throughout Iraq. Under the motto of We Build We Fight, the Seabees also 

helped remove physical barriers for the Marines, helped to reconstruct bridges that had been 

destroyed and built the infrastructures for camps. Occasionally, there was gunfire and manual 

labor in 120-degree heat, and through it all Sadsad said he always kept the people back home 

in his mind.  

 

So when the opportunity came to show dedication and honor toward the children in Los Angeles 

County foster care, Sadsad didnt hesitate.  As part of a military flag dedication program, 

Sadsad raised an American flag last April in honor of Los Angeles County foster children 

and had it formally dedicated.   

 

 

The flag flew over Camp 93 in Kuwait where Sadsad was stationed with the Marines during Operation

Iraqi Freedom.  I thought it would be a neat thing to do, he said.  I wanted to show support for the 

Department and support for the children and families we serve.

 

Shortly after its dedication, the flag and an official certificate marking the event was shipped back 

to the DCFS Pasadena office where Sadsad works. Staff is looking into plans to mount the flag in 

the office.  

 

 

Sadsad said his social work skills came in handy while serving in the Middle East.  He dealt with 

many Iraqi children who would routinely surround the convoys begging for food and water. He also 

said that a great level of teamwork was involved in getting jobs done and the quick ability to 

assess situations was a skill he used frequently.  Like being a social worker, Sadsad experienced

a range of emotions as a soldier, from the fear of unknown, potentially violent situations to the 

satisfaction of helping children in need.    

 

Sadsad will continue in the Reserves, serving one weekend a month and two weeks a year.  He will 

also continue serving the children and families on his caseload with a renewed sense of dedication. 

I feel I am a voice for the children, he said. This is something Ive always wanted to do.  It is very 

fulfilling and Ive always rooted for the underdog.