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    Iraqi Army provides free clinic

    Iraqi Army provides free clinic

    Photo By Spc. Michael Pfaff | An Iraqi Army medic provides care to a boy with an infected cut on his foot.... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    by Spc. Michael Pfaff
    133rd MPAD

    KIRKUK, Iraq (Mar. 15, 2006) - A child with a burn, an elderly woman with an eye infection, and a man with a headache were among many treated during a free medical clinic today.

    Iraqi Army medics set up shop in a school near the village of Amal Shabi on the southern side of Kirkuk to treat locals for basic injuries and illnesses.

    "The clinic is open to children and adults alike," said 1st Lt. Andrew V. Salmo, first platoon leader for Bravo Co., 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. "A lot of these people don't have access to medical care for minor injuries and illnesses, so the Iraqi medics are here to help them out today."

    With the help of Amal Shabi's village leader, Salmo's platoon patrolled the area surrounding the schoolhouse in order to spread the word that a free clinic was available for everyone.

    Soon after, people were lining up in droves, eager to take part in the free medical clinic.

    Three Iraqi Army medics were on the scene to provide care. An American medic was assigned to each Iraqi medic to provide further assistance.

    Pfc. Erik Regalado, a medic in first platoon and Los Angeles, Calif. native, said that the Iraqi medics didn't need much assistance, though.

    "They're actually really good," Regalado said. "Every single thing we've had he already knows what to do. I really don't have to tell him anything."

    The Iraqi Army medics treated children and adults alike with a variety of problems, including burns, infections, scrapes, eye infections and much more. A few patients were beyond the supplies of the medics and were referred to the local hospital.

    The medical treatment is an upgrade from the typical goodwill missions, where Soldiers hand out toys and candy. The impact is more significant in showing adults that the Iraqi security forces and coalition forces are here for them.

    "We give kids candy, and sure you win over the kids," Regalado explained. "But, we need to help out everyone instead of just the kids."

    Salmo spent time talking with the adults waiting in line to find out if they were interested in more events like this happening, and finding out the general concerns of the people.

    "The important thing is the trust," Salmo said. "The people can learn to trust the Americans and the Iraqis to help."

    One of the Iraqi medics put it best when he said that he wanted to 'show the people we are not only here to fight terrorists, but to serve them."

    The only setback in the mission today was the lack of time to help everyone as the day winded to an end. But creating bonds between the people and coalition forces starts with days like today.



    Date Taken: 03.17.2006
    Date Posted: 03.17.2006 13:45
    Story ID: 5772
    Location: KIRKUK, IQ 

    Web Views: 604
    Downloads: 401