Thursday, August 7, 2008

Troops lend helping hand to Iraqi medical professionals

by 1st Lt. Alexander Perotti
4th BCT, 10th Mtn. Div.

FOB LOYALTY, Iraq (Aug3, 2008) — First platoon Soldiers assigned to Company D, 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light), Multi-National Division – Baghdad, recently took responsibility for patrolling the Muthana-Zayna section of eastern Baghdad. In addition to assisting Iraqi forces with security, the platoon helps provide basic medical needs to local citizens.

Capt. Adam Lukasik, brigade surgeon for 4th BCT, 10th Mtn. Div., accompanied a 1st Platoon patrol to the clinic, July 23, to help assess the facility and determine what items the U.S. Army could help provide. As the 1st Platoon Soldiers spoke with staff and patients in the clinic, Lukasik identified specific equipment and resources the facility needs. Also, it provided a great chance for Soldiers to see Iraqi citizens working hand-in-hand.

Soldiers provide security during a visit to a medical clinic in the Muthana-Zayuna area of eastern Baghdad.“It is great to see Iraqis helping out each other,” said Staff Sgt. Andrew Odland, a San Francisco native and section leader assigned to Co. A., 2nd Bn., 30th Inf. Regt.

Ministry of Health officials operate the health care facility. A combination of six doctors and nurses and three interns staff the clinic and provide medical care to 12,000 area residents, specializing in pediatrics, dental hygiene and general care, explained Dr. Jihan, the head doctor of the facility. Although the clinic is small and short staffed, these medical professionals do what they can to help the people using old and limited equipment, she said.

“It’s good to see Iraqis of different backgrounds working toward a common goal,” said Sgt. Luke Zellman, a section leader from Belle Plaine, Minn., supporting Odland’s observation.

Jihan made a list of what she required so Lukasik could request materials and equipment for the facility. First Platoon Soldiers returned to the medical clinic a couple of days later to pick up the list of equipment, and Dr. Jihan seemed very appreciative for the assistance and concern from coalition forces.

Because of the importance of medical care to area residents, 1st Platoon places this community service as a priority and visits the complex about twice a week to ensure the staff has what they need and to ask if there is anything they can do to help.

Now that security is more established in the area than in the past, citizens are able to receive medical aid they require on a regular basis. Proper equipment and services will facilitate a healthier future for the people who live in the Muthana-Zayuna area. The work performed at the medical facility could have long-lasting, positive effects on the populace for years to come.

Soldiers provide security during a visit to a medical clinic in the Muthana-Zayuna area of eastern Baghdad.

Source: CENTCOM.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas. Digg! Digg!

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