News: Medical facility opens in San Marcos
SAN MARCOS, Honduras – The new Medical Readiness Training Exercise facility established by U.S. Army South in San Marcos opened its doors Monday, in continuing support of the Beyond the Horizons 2012 Honduras-mission.
The temporary MEDRETE station, which also features a team of active duty U.S. Air Force doctors and medical personnel, is currently stationed in a school house located in San Marcos.
Lt. Col. Dan Blake, the Air Force Team leader at the MEDRETE facility, oversees all the treatment and medical attention being given at the facility.
“We offer a lot of different types of medical attention here that most of these people couldn’t normally have access to,” Blake said. “Even in the first few days the response from the Honduran people towards us has been overwhelming; they really appreciate what we are doing here.”
Over 1,000 Hondurans have already come to receive treatment in one of the medical areas: gynecology, dermatology, ophthalmology, pharmaceuticals and dentistry.
“Some of these people really get needed medical attention, whether it’s having a tooth pulled, or getting a new pair of glasses to improve their vision. These things can really affect how a person lives,” Blake said.
Aside from giving medical attention to the people of Honduras, another important objective from the BTH 2012 mission is to capitalize on the training opportunity. The MEDRETE is part of the Beyond the Horizon exercise that teams up soldiers from the medical and dental professions with Honduran medical and dental professionals to provide much needed services to rural communities.
Beyond the Horizon Honduras 2012 is a U.S. Army South and U.S. Southern Command exercise deploying military engineers and medical professionals to Honduras for training, while providing services to rural communities. Beyond the Horizon teams participate in a valuable training opportunity while providing medical, dental and engineering support.
“For most of the staff here, they’ve never deployed. So to be able to come down here and really get hands on training is very beneficial, it prepares them for future deployments and some of the things they will see overseas,” Blake said.
Army Lt. Col. Robert Jones, the Task Force Tropic commander for the BTH 2012 Honduras-mission, views not only the MEDRETE stations like the one in San Marcos as a success, but the mission as a whole.
“Things have been going great down here,” Jones said. “We are about halfway done and I’m pleased with the success that the medical and engineering groups have achieved, we must continue to work hard the second half of this mission and continue that success.”
Jones went on to say that the BTH 2012 Honduras-mission has been the “most rewarding experience of my Army career.”
The MEDRETE station will be at the San Marcos location before moving on to Pueblo Nuevo, where medical treatment is set to begin Saturday morning.
Date Posted:06.02.2012 11:55
Location:SAN MARCOS, HN
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