Iraqi, coalition doctors make a difference

24 Jul 2008 | Cpl. Ryan Tomlinson 1st Marine Division

Navy surgeons and corpsmen with 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 5 and 3rd Marine Air Wing (Forward) worked with Iraqi doctors to provide medical services here July 23–24.

“We wanted to provide these people with medical care that they aren’t able to get without traveling far away,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Kevin Heingarten, 34, a corpsman with Delta Company, 4th LAR Bn., 2nd LAR Bn., from Jacksonville, N.C. “It’s a blessing these people have needed for a long time, and we wanted to provide them with that.”

During the event, surgeons and corpsmen were assisted by Iraqi doctors to treat sicknesses ranging from measles to the flu. More than 200 citizens were seen during the event, and the Marines and sailors had candy and toys to hand out to the children.

“The doctors have done a great job treating the people of Akashat,” said Jalal Muhammad Kabole, 30, a resident of Akashat. “When they come here and bring medicine to serve to the people, it brings us another step toward becoming a better town. I thank them for all of their help.”

The town has also been safeguarded by the Iraqi Police and Marines with Delta Company. Since arriving in theatre, Delta Co. has been able to assist the police department, keep the streets safe and ensure the citizens are living without health deficiencies. According to some service members, the operation is another step in making the town one of the safest in Iraq.

“It’s good for the people because we see how they are sick and hurt,” said Lance Cpl. Alex L. Crane, 19, a scout from Middletown, Md., with Delta Co. “It’s an opportunity for them to get care they normally can’t get. It was an honor to be a part of this project.”

There are plans to provide more towns with medical care. The doctors and corpsmen returned to their units and hospitals knowing they made a difference in the lives of the people.

“I enjoy being able to come out here and provide patients of other towns medical care,” said Dr. Dhea Mijwal Shami Maadahidi, 38, a surgeon and manager of the Rutbah General Hospital in Rutbah, Iraq. “It’s good to see other people getting the treatments they’ve needed to stay healthy.”


1st Marine Division