Saturday, March 18, 2006

Iraqi Army Provides Free Clinic

Pfc. Erik Regalado helps examine patients as the line grows long during a free medical clinic set up by Iraqi Army medics.
Photographer: Spc. Michael Pfaff 133rd MPAD

Written 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.”

1st Lt. Andrew Salmo notifies locals of a free medical clinic initiated by Iraqi Army medics.
Photographer: Spc. Michael Pfaff 133rd MPAD

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.”
An Iraqi Army medic examines a boy complaining about a sore throat during a free medical clinic.
Photographer: Spc. Michael Pfaff 133rd MPAD

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.

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.”

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