News: 212th Combat Support Hospital makes lasting impact on Afghanistan
Story by Capt. Amanda Kehrrington
MISEAU, Germany – Marching to patriotic music through smoke into the gymnasium here, Soldiers from the 212th Combat Support Hospital, 30th Medical Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command were welcomed home with cheering and clapping by family and friends April 6.
For approximately nine months, the Soldiers provided medical care to U.S. Soldiers, guard force and detainees inside the Afghan National Detention Facility in Parwan, Afghanistan. They also trained, advised and assisted the Afghan National Army medics to provide comparable care to the detainees.
“As soldiers, we anticipate taking care of soldiers and there we are taking care of people that are the enemy, and we need to treat them with dignity and respect,” said Lt. Col. Stephen Linck, 212th CSH detachment officer in charge and a native of Phoenix, Ariz. “We have such a wonderful team that we had no issues treating people with dignity and respect; everybody was a patient, and nobody was a prisoner or detainee.”
The Soldiers of the 212th CSH played a significant role in a difficult mission with strategic implications.
“The most challenging thing was finding a way to decompress at the end of the day. I turned to the gym,” said Sgt. Ashley Powell, 212th CSH lab noncommissioned officer in charge and a native of San Antonio, Texas.
The Soldiers expressed their excitement to be home but also reflected on their accomplishments and the impact they left on Afghanistan.
“We have effectively transitioned all the detainees to the Afghans. We helped build a clinic for them, so they are now seeing their own sick call with ANA providers, doctors, physician assistants and nurses; they have their own radiology and dental,” said Spc. Kevin Floyd, a healthcare specialist and a native of Rome, Ga.
Lisa Floyd, spouse of Spc. Floyd and a native of Bavaria, Germany, sat in the crowd with a toddler by her side and a baby in her arms and a giant smile on her face.
“I have been preparing for this day for several weeks now,” said Lisa. “I feel like a teenager here, sitting and waiting.”
Upon arrival to their home station, the Soldiers raved about sleeping in their own bed again, taking a shower without shoes, eating their favorite restaurant fries, driving their car again and spending time with their loved ones. Not only can they go home to their favorite things, but they can go home proud.
“This is a very difficult mission, but we have a wonderful team, and they did wonderful work. They will have a lasting impact on Afghanistan because I am confident that the people in the custody under the Afghan Law there will be treated appropriately,” said Linck. “We have given the Afghans what they need to succeed.”