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Hamed Khalid Abrahim, the mayor of Rawah, Iraq, tries on a new pair of glasses in Rawah Aug 13. Coalition forces delivered 720 pairs of prescription glasses to the local optometrist in Rawah. The glasses were donated by three organizations from Colorado: the Fort Collins Lions Club, the Sterling Lions Club and the Rotary Club of Fort Collins. The glasses will be made available to residents of Rawah who need them and could otherwise not afford them::r::::n::

Photo by Lance Cpl. Paul Torres

Coalition forces help Rawah focus

18 Aug 2008 | Lance Cpl. Paul Torres

The town of Rawah has had many improvements since Coalition forces arrived. With the help of Coalition forces and several organizations from Colorado, the local residents will soon be able to see the progress a little better.

Coalition forces delivered over 700 prescription eyeglasses to help provide the residents of Rawah with badly needed prescription lenses.

“We are helping increase the quality of life for many of the people who could otherwise not afford prescription glasses,” said Navy Lt. Malcolm Brown, 38, from Fort Collins, Colo., who is the battalion surgeon for 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5. “There have been instances where Iraqis have gotten themselves in a life-threatening situation because they could not read the warning signs, so we are potentially saving lives.”

Poor eyesight can be easily treated with a simple pair of glasses, if glasses are available.

“They don’t have a proper hospital where they can go to be treated,” said 1st Lt. Daniel M. Thomas, 24, from Santa Barbra Calif., who is the team leader for Civil Affairs Team 5, Detachment 1, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5. “The clinic they do have is lacking medical supplies, such as glasses, and the facilities to treat some of the more severe eyesight problems.”

The glasses were delivered to the mayor’s office in Rawah, and the local optometrist met with members of Coalition forces to discuss how the glasses were to be distributed.

“The local optometrist will be handing out most of the glasses for free,” said Thomas.

The glasses were donated by three organizations from Colorado: the Fort Collins Lions Club, the Sterling Lions Club and the Rotary Club of Fort Collins. The Rotary and Lions clubs collected and sorted the glasses by prescription before sending them to whoever needs them.

“It’s great that there are people back in the states that are willing to help the people out here,” said Lance Cpl. Kyle J. Friel, 20, from Coventry, R.I., who is a motor transportation mechanic with CA Team 5. “By helping the people, they are also helping our mission to aid the Iraqis in rebuilding their infrastructure.”

The appreciation for the donations was also expressed by the mayor of Rawah when the glasses arrived.

“With (these gifts), we can help the less fortunate by giving them glasses,” said Hamed Khalid Abrahim, mayor of Rawah.


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