Magazine article Soldiers Magazine

A Clinic for Karkh

Magazine article Soldiers Magazine

A Clinic for Karkh

Article excerpt

AFTER establishing combat outpost in Baghdad's Karkh District, Soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team decided they needed to do something to reach out to the surrounding community, to let residents know the brigade is there to help them.

Soldiers from the 1st Squadron, 14th Cav. Regiment, first conducted a medical mission in an abandoned building next to the outpost.

"We want to establish a good relationship with the people of this community, so that they know we're close by," said Maj. Elvis Coronado, the unit's operations officer.

A civil-affairs team from the Fort Bragg, N.C.-based Company B, 97th CA Battalion, working with Task Force 1-14 Cav., provided logistical support for the medical mission.

"Basically, what we do is civil reconnaissance for the commander in the area, and we come in and assess the infrastructure and security," said Sgt. 1st Class Charles Bums, the team sergeant.

"This area doesn't have a clinic. So we began by offering medical services out of the empty building next to our outpost."

Sgt. 1st Class Bums, who often meets with local leaders, knew medical assistance was something the local people desperately needed--their leaders had specifically requested such assistance.

Having conducted similar operations with his team numerous times over the past two years in Africa, Afghanistan and Iraq, Sgt. 1st Class Burns was quickly able to procure the medicine, enlist the help of required personnel and organize the event.

Once participants arrived at the selected site for the operation, a makeshift doctors' office with two treatment rooms--one for men, one for women and children--was quickly set up and stocked with medicine that had been purchased from the local economy.

"Most of the time we try to purchase medicine locally; that way the money goes back into the community and the medicine isn't something that's foreign to the people," Sgt. …

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