News: US Army Reserve soldiers help thousands by manning pharmacy
SANTA RITA, Honduras – Three U.S. Army Reserve soldiers recently helped thousands of people in Santa Rita, Honduras, by manning a pharmacy and distributing medication alongside the Honduran military, governmental and non-governmental organizations on June 30.
Capt. Diane Mosey, of Madison, Wis., Sgt. Tyler Peterson, also of Madison, and Spc. Jonathan Batres, of Minneapolis, ran the line at the pharmacy and distributed prescription medication from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., when the last patient prescription was filled.
Mosey, a nurse with the Madison-based 548th Minimal Care Detachment, said she was excited at her first chance to work outside task force’s headquarters.
“We’ve been working at the battalion aid station, treating soldiers for illness or injury,” Mosey said. “Now we’re out here trying to make a difference in these peoples’ lives, trying to show them that America cares.”
The soldiers are in Honduras as part of U.S. Army South’s Beyond the Horizon 2012 exercise. The exercise gives soldiers, sailors and airmen real-world training on their military skills through humanitarian missions.
Mosey previously served on a Beyond the Horizon exercise in Haiti.
“It was an awesome experience,” Mosey said. “We treated thousands of patients a day. They were very proud and very grateful people.”
While in Santa Rita, the soldiers worked alongside fellow Army Reservists who were on a yearlong mission with the Florida-based 478th Civil Affairs Battalion. The 478th had helped the 14th Infantry Battalion of the Honduran army’s 105th Infantry Brigade coordinate the event, said Sgt. 1st Class David Everage, of the 478th.
“We’re here to teach the host nation about civil affairs,” Everage said. “They understand that this is their opportunity to interact with the people. We’ve been teaching them about our military values – like honor and respect – and they show them in their interactions with the public.”
The event drew thousands of Hondurans to the area – pre-estimates ranged anywhere from 5,000 to 14,000. Honduran doctors were on hand to examine patients, who could then have prescriptions filled at a pharmacy the team set up.
The patients’ needs spanned a wide range of ailments, Mosey said. Many were treated with medications that are common in the U.S.
“A lot of people needed vitamins,” Mosey said. “We also distributed a lot of Tylenol and ibuprofen - basically over-the-counter pain medicine.”
Outside the pharmacy, Peterson helped get prescriptions from the patients to the people working the pharmacy. Batres, who serves with the 444th Minimal Care Detachment and is fluent in Spanish, rotated between filling scripts and helping run the waiting line outside.
“It’s cool,” Batres said. “The people are super grateful and can certainly use the help. Being here is an amazing opportunity.”
The Beyond the Horizon exercise will conclude in early July.
Date Posted:07.05.2012 12:47
Location:SANTA RITA, HN
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