Sgt. Anthony Abeyta exchanges high-fives with local boys.
Staff Sgt. Jade Chiara does a blood pressure check.
Capt. Se Young Um and Staff Sgt. Jade Chiara check the breathing of a local child.
Capt. Se Young Um and Staff Sgt. Jade Chiara listen as a mother explains the symptoms of her child's ailment.
August 6, 2007
Press Release from the 3rd Infantry Div. By Sgt. Natalie Rostek, 3rd HBCT Public Affairs
FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq - Soldiers of 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team held a free medical clinic Monday at a school in al Zatia. Medics set up two treatment stations in one classroom in the school, and one reception station in a separate classroom.
Before the clinic began, 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment's loudspeaker team broadcasted a message to villagers announcing the opportunity to receive free medical care.
During the broadcast, villagers from the area began forming two lines, male and female, waiting to be seen. One by one, the patients were brought into a reception room where they were signed in and screened. Patients with medical conditions ranging from upper respiratory problems to stomach ailments came to the school seeking medical care.
The medics gave their best effort, treating every ailment that came their way. Staff Sgt. Jade Chiara, of Staten Island, N.Y., noncommissioned officer in charge of the aid station on FOB Hammer, said some conditions were far too complicated for the "tailgate" medicine. "Not being able to give them exactly what they need has to be the hardest part," Chiara said. "Some patients needed chest X-rays or cardiology exams, and we are just not able to do that here."
Chiara said when the medics see conditions they aren't able to treat on the spot, they do what they can to ease the suffering and explain to the patient they need to get to the hospital to see a specialist as soon as possible.
The mission was not just beneficial to the villagers but also to the medics who attended, said Pfc. Laia Brunson, of Atlanta, a medic in the 203rd BSB. "This is a learning experience," Brunson said. "Some people that come in here have conditions Soldiers don't have, like arthritis. Soldiers don't come into the aid station with arthritis."
At the completion of the mission, the medics had seen about 135 patients. "We are helping these people who do not have access to or can't afford medical care," Brunson said. "This is an overwhelmingly proud feeling I have being here."
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