By Adam Shaw
16th Sustainment Brigade
Ibrahim Khaleel, Iraq — Medics from Logistics Task Force Alpha, 16th Special Troops Battalion, 16th Sustainment Brigade, provided immunizations to local Iraqi children at the Ibrahim Khaleel Health Clinic near Habur Gate Sept 10, 2008.
"It was an excellent visit," said Staff Sgt. Daniel De Luna Jr., non-commissioned officer in charge, Habur Gate Aid Station, LTF-A, 16th STB. "It strengthened our relationship with the nurses, physician assistants, and the community."
The medics treated nearly 70 Iraqi children, ranging from ages ten days to four years old. They also treated another ten Iraqi mothers.
Sgt. De Luna and his staff not only gave immunizations to their patients, but they also handed out Beanie Babies, which served as a distraction from the needles.
"I gave an immunization to one girl who was very calm, cool, and collected, up until the shot was given, and then she started crying. We gave her a Beanie Baby and she put all her attention on the toy and calmed down," said De Luna.
De Luna said that initially the local Iraqis were very friendly, but curious as to why there were American Soldiers at the clinic.
"They looked at us with question when we first showed up," De Luna said. "When they found out we were there to help with immunizations and give out toys, they could not wait to get in the room."
This is the second time that De Luna and his team assisted the staff at the clinic and he hopes it won't be the last.
"The physician's assistant invited us back any time to help out any day of the week," said De Luna. "I loved the experience that I had and I am looking forward to returning and doing what we do best, helping people feel better so that they can live a prosperous life."