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    Father, son deploy to Valley for medical assistance mission

    Father, son deploy to Valley for medical assistance mission

    Photo By Luke Elliott | Texas State Guard Sgt. Jeremy Skelton, a member of Dallas-Fort Worth Medical Response...... read more read more



    Story by Luke Elliott 

    Texas State Guard (Texas Military Forces)

    LAREDO, Texas - Operation Lone Star is all about family well-being and providing the gift of good health care to families in need. One family is working together as father and son to bring these gifts to fruition during Operation Lone Star in Laredo, Texas.

    For Texas State Guard Sgt. 1st Class Johnny Skelton, a retired U.S. Navy chief petty officer, and his son Sgt. Jeremy Skelton, both members of the Wichita Falls Company, Dallas-Fort Worth Medical Response Group, serving their nation, community and neighbors is a family tradition.

    “Texans are neighbors, and neighbors help neighbors,” said the elder Skelton. “Everybody needs help from time to time, and it’s up to people in this state to help each other out.”

    More than 400 military members, 200 state and county employees and countless volunteers collaborated to do just this by supporting OLS, which provided free medical care to residents in need along the Texas border July 25 – Aug. 5.

    “It’s a good deal,” said the elder Skelton, who has worked OLS with his son for five total years. “There are people in this state that need help. For some of the people we see here, this is the only time of the year that they see anybody who is any kind of medical (practitioner).”

    Many patients who come through say positive things about the OLS workers who are devoting much of their time to the free medical exercise, said the younger Skelton, a former Texas Army National Guard Soldier.

    “Some of them have a hard time being able to go to a hospital or a clinic,” added the younger Skelton. “Some of them say they are impressed that people they don’t even know are willing to take time out of their schedule to do something like this.”

    One might wonder how it is to work with your father in a Texas State Guard unit, but the younger Skelton described working with his father as a helpful experience, as every time he has a question or problem, his dad was there to assist and provide guidance.

    “With my dad here, I know what he expects,” added the younger Skelton.

    The younger Skelton said his father taught him that while there is a time to have fun, the military requires you to be serious more times than not.

    “In situations like this, there is very little room to slack off,” he added. “If you don’t pay attention, something could happen and someone could get hurt.”

    The elder Skelton has become an asset to the unit by enforcing discipline and teaching his son and others about military standards, said Texas State Guard Lt. Col. Robert McBroom, the Skeltons’ unit commander.

    “Skelton is pretty insistent about discipline within the entire unit, but he is also a good educator,” added McBroom, a medical doctor who joined the Texas State Guard specifically to help people through exercises like OLS.

    Since he came into the unit with no military background, McBroom said he has learned a lot from the elder Skelton.

    Operation Lone Star provided a variety of medical services to include immunizations, sports physicals, blood pressure screenings, vision exams, pharmaceutical service, medical referrals, ministry services and preventative health education.

    The operation was made possible through the collaboration of the Texas State Guard, Texas Army and Air National Guard, local municipalities, Texas Department of State Health Services, and many other agencies, organizations, companies and volunteers.



    Date Taken: 08.20.2011
    Date Posted: 08.20.2011 15:09
    Story ID: 75671
    Location: LAREDO, TX, US 

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