Featured News
Photo Information

KARMAH, Iraq- An Iraqi doctor treats and medicates a local boy during a combined medical engagement in the West Karmah region Sept. 15. Weapons Company, Task Force 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, held the CME to demonstrate the level of self-sufficiency the Iraqi medical system is capable of. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Achilles Tsantarliotis)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Achilles Tsantarliotis

Hundreds receive medical care in Iraq’s West Karmah region

15 Sep 2008 | Lance Cpl. Achilles Tsantarliotis

KARMAH, Iraq (September 15, 2008) – Approximately 500 Iraqis were treated during a combined medical engagement in the West Karmah region Sept. 15.

 Iraqi doctors and a surplus of primary healthcare medicine were made available to citizens during the CME, which was held by Weapons Company, Task Force 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1.

 The CME was the first medical engagement held by the company of Marines in their area of operations since their arrival in mid-August, but they plan many more throughout their seven-month deployment.

“The goal is to reach out to men and women in the area, see what they need medically and try to provide them for their needs,” said 2nd Lt. Mark Beaudette, a platoon commander with Weapons Co., Task Force 1st Bn., 3rd Marines, RCT-1. 

A CME brings local physicians and medicine to an area that doesn’t necessarily have those resources available to them, said Navy Lt. Jonathan Malone, assistant battalion surgeon, Task Force 1st Bn., 3rd Marines, RCT-1.

“It’s a way of treating (the Iraqi people), as well as restoring confidence in the Iraqi medical system,” said Malone. “It’s strictly (the Iraqi doctors) treating their people; no military physician provides any healthcare during the CME.”

The CME demonstrated Iraq’s turn toward self-sufficiency and Coalition forces’ relinquishment of security control to the Iraqi Forces.

After the attendees were treated, bags of food were given to each family, as well as assorted toys for the children.

The amount of food given to each family was enough to feed a family for a month, said 1st Lt. Johnathan Boeve, executive officer, Weapons Co., Task Force 1st Bn., 3rd Marines, RCT-1.

“Sheiks came up to me and expressed their gratitude for how well run, and generous, the CME was,” said Boeve. “Overall, it went pretty well. We had a lot of people come, and we were happy to be able to provide this for them.”

Iraqi’s appreciation of the CME was evident in the large turnout, said Omm Saad, an Iraqi surgical nurse.

“I could see how happy they were to receive medicine and treatment,” said Saad. “It’s something they don’t get every day and they were appreciative of all the medicine and food they received. It went very well – it was good to help these people out, and it was important to show them they do have hope, they do have Iraqi physicians and this will one day be easily available to them by their own people.”