LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army service members from the Combat Stress Clinic and Company C, both with 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, hosted the Forward Operating Base Shank Health Fair, July 27.
The fair consisted of numerous stations that addressed different health needs to include injury prevention, nutritional advice, stress reduction, and sleeping techniques that can help improve an individual’s physical and mental readiness during a deployment.
“The primary goal behind the health fair is to educate soldiers on healthy lifestyles, make a variety of information readily available at one location, and give the soldiers the opportunity to ask providers questions about their health,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Darnell Schuettler, a CSC provider with the 455th CSC out of Joint-Base Charleston, S.C.
Since her arrival to Afghanistan in March, Schuettler, a native of Osmond, Neb., observed a trend in problems her patients were experiencing. She did some research and discovered the other providers were also discovering similar findings.
“Soldiers were coming in with injuries from poor weight-lifting techniques, sleep disturbances, dental problems from grinding their teeth, and we decided it was time to intervene to help the Soldiers,” she said.
Service members and civilians, who attend the health fair, were also presented with a variety of information on physical therapy, injury prevention, nutritional advice, combat life saving skills, and stress relief and reduction techniques.
The soldiers were also able to talk candidly to medical providers on site and ask questions for specific health concerns.
U.S. Army Pfc. Jason Lewis, a native of Yuba City, Calif., and military intelligence analyst with 4-3 Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th IBCT, came across the event advertisement which piqued his interest and encouraged him to attend the health fair.
“I came away with avenues I could continue to follow to gain further insight into the subjects that I found interesting,” Lewis said.
Schuettler and her colleagues’ primary goal was to ensure the Soldiers left with a better understanding of how to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle to keep them fit during the deployment.
“At the end of the day, we want to reduce the number of patients through prevention and interventions to keep our Soldiers fit and help return those who are injured back to the fight quickly,” Schuettler added.