News: Service members reach Filipino hearts through medical, dental care
Story by Cpl. Nicholas Rhoades
SAN NARCISCO, Philippines - Marines, sailors and service members from the Armed Forces of the Philippines join hands to provide medical and dental care to the local people of San Narciso at Namatacan Elementary School Oct. 10, 2012.
The Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) 2013 is focused on improved interoperability of forces and readiness by training through the full range of military operations including peacekeeping operations, humanitarian assistance and and high-intensity combat.
“The U.S. Marines are really encouraging the patients to consult here, take some medications, and fix any problems they might have,” said Sgt. Bon Jovi A. Tabing, AFP reserve Marine.
Service members from both the U.S. and AFP helped to serve more than 400 patients suffering with a wide variety of dental and medical problems.
“We have been working here all day helping these Filipino people, we have given hundreds of pharmaceuticals and extracted over a hundred teeth,” said Seamen Jaleel M. Pacheco, dental corpsman 3rd Marine Expiditionary Brigade, 3rd Marine Expiditionary Force. “It really feels great to help out all these people and give this much help to the local community.”
Service members, as well as the local populous left with their heads high feeling great about the help that was given over the long day.
“A lot of the locals have been thanking us for coming out here to help. Every time we come out they ask for our help and we're glad to do what we can,” said Pacheco.
United States Marines and sailors have visited this area many times in the past and with so many locals coming back for aid, it shows the positive impact theyhave made on the surrounding areas.
“The mental view in my mind, since I was here as a lieutenant, has changed because I think over the intervening 27 years the (two) countries have grown closer together. We work together better now, we have more interoperability than we had back then,” said Brigadier Gen. Craig Timberlake, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade commanding general. “I think we will continue to submit the friendships and relationships between the republic of the Philippines and the United States. If we know we can interoperate here and now, we'll be able to do it then in time of need.”