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    Dignitaries celebrate successes of humanitarian exercise

    Dignitaries celebrate successes of humanitarian exercise

    Photo By Luke Elliott | State Sen. Judith Zaffirini speaks during a ceremony celebrating successes of a...... read more read more



    Story by Luke Elliott 

    Texas State Guard (Texas Military Forces)

    LAREDO, Texas - Several military, state and local dignitaries joined together Aug. 3 at the Laredo Convention Center in Laredo, Texas, to celebrate successes of the 13th Annual Operation Lone Star event, which is now in its second week of providing free medical services to people in need along the Texas border.

    State Sen. Judith Zaffirini; Maj. Gen. Raymond C. Peters, commanding general, Texas State Guard; Dr. Brian Smith, medical director, Region 11, Texas Department of State Health Services, Dr. James K. Morgan, assistant commissioner for regional health services, Texas DSHS; Nora Rivera, mayor, Rio Bravo, Texas; Charlie San Miguel, Laredo council member; and Dr. Hector Gonzales, director, City of Laredo Health Department, attended the event.

    “Operation Lone Star is a joint effort, uniting the state health and human services agencies, the joint Texas Military Forces, the City of Laredo, Webb County, the Laredo Health Department, local service groups, schools, civilian volunteers to provide the largest public health humanitarian effort in the country,” said San Miguel.

    More than 400 military members, 200 state and county employees and numerous volunteers united for the exercise, which started July 25 and ends Aug. 5, to provide 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 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 collaborated for the Operation Lone Star, which serves as both a humanitarian mission and a disaster response training event.

    Zaffirini described the operation as the perfect opportunity for emergency preparedness.

    “In that way, too, it is a blessing because when we are faced with a disaster, we know that our best people will be the best prepared to deal with it and reach out to our families,” Zaffirini said.

    Operation Lone Star is one of the premier events for the Texas State Guard each year, said Peters.

    “Operation Lone Star is the largest medical training activity for disaster in the country, and we’re proud to be a part of that,” Peters added.

    Operation Lone Star workers and volunteers provided more than 36,000 health services to about 5,950 people during the first week of the exercise, which was held July 25-29 in several Texas cities to include Brownsville, San Juan, Mission and Rio Grande City.



    Date Taken: 08.04.2011
    Date Posted: 08.21.2011 11:37
    Story ID: 75694
    Location: LAREDO, TX, US 

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