16 July 2010

‘Smile Train’ returns to help Iraqi kids

Written by 103rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command PAO Monday, July 12, 2010

A mother and her 4-year-old son rest together in a recovery room following surgery to repair the boy’s cleft pallet, June 26, 2010. The surgery was performed at a mobile medical treatment facility on Contingency Operating Base Adder by volunteer doctors from Smile Train Italia. U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Patrick Wilson.

COB ADDER — A groggy little boy looks up from his mother’s lap. The presence of American Soldiers in his room is certainly not expected. His face brightens a bit after he and his mother receive small bags of treats from the Americans.

His recovery room is actually part of an elaborate mobile hospital run by the U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Team for Dhi Qar province, led by representatives of the Italian government.

The compound here is also home to numerous training and outreach programs. It houses a new improvised field hospital that provides care for Iraqi citizens unable to get treatment elsewhere.

Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 224th Sustainment Brigade, 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), visited the facility in late June to learn more about the services offered and to bring gifts sent to Iraqi children from families in the National Guard unit’s home state of Virginia.

The visit by the infantry Soldiers was the result of an invitation from Steve Burton, a civilian police adviser-trainer, and a Martinsville, Va., native who wanted his fellow Virginians to learn more about the programs being offered.

In addition to childhood and family education programs, Iraqi Highway Patrol professional training, horticulture classes and English language classes, the PRT is also partnering with an international charity which has a mission to provide corrective surgery for children born with a cleft lip or pallet....

Much more on this B*N*S*N story here.

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