Healthcare is a rare commodity in Iraq at times. Women and children can be the victims of that shortage. Here’s a feel good story of what we’re doing about that.
The line of widows, wives, children, mothers and sisters of soldiers of the Sons of Iraq reached from their headquarters building in Hawijah, near Kirkuk, Iraq, all the way to the end of the road and each of them had a huge smile on their face.
These women and children gathered at the SoI headquarters, March 24, to receive much needed clothes, shoes, food and medical attention from Soldiers of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Armor Regiment, 37th Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division out of Fort Bliss, Texas.
“We did this to show our appreciation to the SoI, they have assisted us greatly since arriving and their families have made many sacrifices,” said Capt. Scott Wares, who also did a project much like this one during his last deployment is an Orange Company, Calif. native and commander of HHC, 1/37th AR.“These women and children are very happy to receive the medical attention and supplies they need, in a secure environment,” said Khalaf Ibrahim Ali, known as Abu Adnan and the SoI contractor in Hawijah.
Abu Adnan went on to explain that many of the families cannot afford to go to the doctor or the medicine from minor pains, colds or respiratory problems.
“That is exactly what we are here to help with basic medical care,” said 1st Lt. Jason Hrdina, the battalion physician assistant for 1/37 AR.
Hrdina brought along four of his medics, one of them a female medic to assist the women; these medics assisted more than 300 people.
“It is very important to these women that a female medic is present so they get the care they need, many of them probably would not have seen a medic if we didn’t have one here,” said Sgt. Lisa Moore, a San Antonio, Texas, native and female medic for 1/37 AR.
After being looked at by the medics if they needed to the families then went to another room where the children were able to pick out new shoes, clothing and the women received food and jackets.
One of the women, who asked to be called Manar, whose husband was injured fighting with the SoI, was particularly happy to see the Soldiers and receive the assistance.
“Thank you so much,” she said through an interpreter. “My husband cannot work anymore so to receive food and clothing makes my family so happy.”
After receiving the clothing and food the children were able to stop by and see the 1/37 AR Capt. Abrahamyoung Ki Kim, chaplain, to receive candy and beanie babies, from Beanies for Baghdad.
In a community where many of the people are still suffering these Soldiers truly brightened the day for the families of the SoI and plan to do so many more times.
Story by Pfc. Jessica Luhrs