News: U.S. troops help stock Radwaniyah clinic
Story by Sgt. Mary Junell
BAGHDAD — The citizens of Radwaniyah have something special to be happy about.
A new clinic in the Radwaniyah Community Center, here, south of Baghdad, received a truck load of medical supplies, Oct. 8, from Soldiers in Company D, 252nd Combined Arms Battalion, 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team,.
The empty clinic was void of doctors, furniture and medical supplies, as Soldiers and local members of the Son's of Iraq unloaded a cargo truck.
"Right now it's just a big empty building," said Fuquay-Varina, N.C. native, 1st Lt. John Burt. "[The Iraqis] were going to have a hard time getting it filled."
The Iraqi fiscal year starts in January, and money from the government of Iraq won't be available for the clinic until after that date.
"The clinic will have a hard time getting money till January 1st,"said Pittsboro, N.C. native, Capt. Robert Steele, the company commander. "We're trying to bridge that gap."
For Cpl. Marc Strickland, a medic with Company D, it only made sense to give the medical supplies to the clinic.
"They didn't have any supplies and these are things we either don't need, or they are better suited for a clinic."
Expendable medical items are not brought back to the states once they have been shipped to Iraq, even if they remain unused. These extra items were the ones the Soldiers brought to the clinic.
"We can't take the supplies with us," said Strickland, "and the people at the community center need it worse than we do."
One Soldier said the clinic will support many people in the rural farming community of Radwaniyah, giving them the convenience of a local clinic, and making it easier for them to get the care they need.
"Everybody needs it," said Durham N.C. native, Travis Steiner. "There are not many places for people here to get medical care."
Sheik Ayad, the contractor for building the center, also saw the impact that the clinic could have on the community.
"[Ayad] saw it wasn't going to be big enough," said Steiner. "So, he put a lot of his own money into the medical clinic to get it to where it needs to be so it would actually help the people. He saw the need of the people and he did what he needed to do to meet that need."
Ayad had the clinic building built larger than what was originally planned on, making it better suited for the amount of people in the area. He said the locals were happy with the delivery from the U.S. troops.
"You can see the people, their faces looking happy because you bring the medical supplies today," he said.
Dr. Nazik, one of the Iraqi doctors working with Ayad to build the clinic, said opening the clinic will change the lives of the people in Radwaniyah.
"This location serves many poor families. They have the right to health care, and because this is countryside, they didn't have these kind of services."