News: Operation Smile
Story by Sgt. Steven Livingston
Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division out of Fort Bliss, Texas, delivered humanitarian aid to the small village of Sargoran of the Kirkuk province, Iraq, April 9.
Operation Smile delivered medical supplies to a medical clinic in the village and dental supplies to a nearby elementary school.
"We came in March to do an assessment of the clinic," said 2nd Lt. Matt Hegarty of the 2/3rd FA, a native of Moorestown N.J. "We found that the clinic was staffed really well and the best way to help would be by providing additional medical supplies."
According to Dr. Amir Obed, a physician at the clinic, the clinic provides medical care to about twenty thousand people in the village.
There are several small villages in the surrounding area that get little to no medical coverage, said Obed. We would like to use the supplies to the best of our abilities to go to those small villages and provide medical care, he said.
Leaders of the 2/3rd FA agreed and said they would try and help facilitate the doctor getting to the smaller villages.
"They want to help the people of the area and that is a good sign," said Hegarty.
After delivering the medical supplies the Soldiers from the 2/3rd FA went to an elementary school nearby.
1st Lt. Raul Villalobos from the 2/3rd FA, Heredia Aid Station, a native of El Paso, Texas, conducted a class on proper oral hygiene and the possible medical conditions associated with bad hygiene to the students ranging from ages five to 13 years old.
"Preventive medicine is the best medicine," said Villalobos.
Each student got a one month supply of oral hygiene products. "The mission was good," said Villalobos. "We want people in Iraq to be able to take care of themselves."