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Troops treat 870 Iraqi civilians

By Lance Cpl. Cindy Alejandrez , 1st Marine Division

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Lance Cpl. Gary A. Jacobs hands candy to little girls who wait with their mothers to be seen by a doctor during a Cooperative Medical Engagement in Fallujah, June 24.
Lance Cpl. Gary A. Jacobs hands candy to little girls who wait with their mothers to be seen by a doctor during a Cooperative Medical Engagement in Fallujah, June 24.

June 28, 2008 — FALLUJAH, Iraq (July 1, 2008) – With the combined efforts of Marines, Soldiers, Airmen and American civilian doctors, two Cooperative Medical Engagements provided medical care to more than 870 locals, June 24 and 25.

Marines with 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, facilitated the medical engagement,  and Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, provided security.

Air Force Capt. Siddig A. Mirghani, 30, of Torrance, Calif., a public health officer with 360th Civil Affairs Brigade, said he saw many patients sick from malnutrition, aches and joint pains.

“For those who had major illnesses, they were referred to the National Iraqi Assistance Center,” Mirghani said.

“We were able to help most people here with only three doctors,” Dr. Suzan Karim, 47, from Detroit, who attended to women and children.

During the engagement, Marines with I Marine Expeditionary Force’s Iraqi Women’s Engagement program brought along coloring books, crayons for children and interacted with the women while they waited to be seen by a doctor.

“It was fun interacting with the kids. They could be crying but then their faces would light up when we gave them candy,” said Cpl. Jasmine R. Sohns, 26, of Kaneohe, Hawaii, a motor transport operator, Motor Transport Company, CLB-1.

Before heading out, patients were provided free medicine and their children received a bag of school supplies.

Mirghani said it’s important to make all parties focus on their jobs and work with patients to provide a secure environment.

“It went well. We saw a lot of patients and were able to give them (medicine),” Mirghani said. “It was a pleasure working with the Marines. They always provide the best security and the supplies were plentiful.”