Thursday, January 18, 2007

Wolverines and Providers give Iraqis basic medical care

Staff Sgt. Angela Mckinzie
2nd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. (LI) Public Affairs

GRETEMA VILLAGE, IRAQ — Nawal, an Iraqi mother, brings her three children to a place where she know they can get help. Each of the children is sick and has not seen a doctor since they were born. She now has the opportunity to get her children medical care because of the Iraqi and coalition forces.
Soldiers from the 1st Squadron, 89th Calvary Regiment and the 210th Brigade Support Battalion, both units of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), teamed up to provide the citizens of Gretema Village, Iraq with basic medical care Jan. 12 during a medical operation.
“We are out here providing basic medical assistance to the Iraqis since their medical resources are limited,” said Sgt. Nicholas Patla, a 1-89 medic and native of Chicago, Ill., as he checks the temperature of an Iraqi baby. “We want t o establish a good relationship with the citizens of the village.”
During the medical operation citizens complained of symptoms ranging from a sore throat to an aching back. However, chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure could not be treated in one day. Since the medical operation was a very basic medical set-up the patients with chronic illnesses were sent to the Civil Military Operations Center where they could receive continual care.
“Today we are treating and giving out medication for common illnesses,” said Capt. Jeffrey Kunz, the 1-89 squadron surgeon and native of Ronkonkona, N.Y. “The CMOC is staffed with doctors that can do more for the Iraqis.”
A portable dental clinic, the 210th’s Doc-In-a-Box invention, allowed Iraqis to receive basic dental care during the operation. Toothbrushes and toothpaste were given to the citizens as part of the dental portion of the operation.
“Providing medical care makes me happy because we are getting to interact with the people and help them,” said Pvt. Lisa Ming, a 210th BSB medic and native of Beaumont, Calif. “It really makes me feel good when I see the children smile.”
After the operation was over the B Troop commander took a moment to explain the benefits of conducting these types of operations.
“Since we are building relationships with the Iraqis they have given us information about improvised explosive devices within the area,” said Capt. Christian Cosner, a native of Davis, W. Va. “Working with the Iraqi people is a way to deny anti-Iraqi Forces sanctuary within the Wolverines’ area of responsibility.”
Some of the Soldiers shared their thoughts of the operation before departing the area.
“It was great to get out and help the Iraqi people and show then that we are here for them,” said Staff Sgt. Billie Caperton, the 210th BSB Camp Striker, Iraq Troop Medical Clinic noncommissioned officer in charge.
“It felt good to get my children seen by doctors,” Nawa said with a smile. “There are no doctors here … I wish the Americans could stay forever and take care of us.”

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