RAMADI, Iraq – A medical trip to became an extended stay for one 1st Brigade Combat Team Soldier escorting an injured Iraqi Policeman to the Prosthetic Center in Baghdad.
Quaseen Jareed, a Ramadi Policeman, was living and working without his lower left leg after a car bomb detonation in Ramadi.
"It was a bad injury and took off part of his left leg below the knee," said Staff Sgt. James Foskett, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade Combat Team.
Looking at Jareed however, it was clear to coalition forces that a prosthetic leg for his missing limb would make his life easier. Upon hearing about the accident, military personnel asked for a volunteer to accompany Jareed on a military helicopter to Baghdad. When the request came down to Foskett, he volunteered immediately.
"When I first met Jareed he was fine and sitting in the front seat of an Iraqi Police vehicle at the front gate," Foskett said. "At the time, the injury was already a couple of months old, and he was already mobile on crutches."
"He and I then flew in a chopper to Baghdad to get him to the Prosthetic Center at the International Zone in Baghdad on the night of April 6th," Foskett said. "When we arrived in Baghdad, we were met by military personnel who got us settled in rooms there."
Foskett knew the trip to Baghdad would be a couple of days but didn't know it would be a two week stay before he returned to Ramadi.
"When I got there with him, the doctor told us it would take two weeks to get him (Jareed) fitted, through physical therapy and taken care of," he said.
Foskett took care of all of Jareed's needs at the prosthetic center.
"After both of us got settled in, I got him to his appointments, took him to chow and bought him a pair of sneakers for his prosthetic foot," he said.
Despite the language barrier, they were able to communicate through the basic words picked up through daily interaction.
"I'd ask him how he was doing when I visited him in the hospital room," Foskett said. "I was the there with him when he was fitted with his prosthetic – you could tell he really appreciated it. Anyone would have appreciated having someone there to check on him and make sure he was okay."
From the time he met Jareed to the end when he flew back from Baghdad, Foskett performed above and beyond what was expected of him. Having been there and seen someone through all the trial of getting help, he's got just one answer for people who ask him why he went.
"I just did what I felt I needed to do," he said.
Foskett will again meet Jareed when he takes him back to Baghdad later this month for a follow up appointment with the doctors who treated him.
This work, Raider Soldier escorts wounded Iraqi Police Officer to Baghdad, by SSG Ricardo Branch, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.