Sunday, April 23, 2006

Chai Tea, Mud Huts, Villages With No Names

This war will be won over glasses of chai tea, in mud huts, in villages with names we cannot pronounce. - K. Henry"

CAMP TAJI, Iraq, April 20, 2006 – While the fight against enemy insurgents continues, Iraqi and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers provided medical and humanitarian relief to local nationals caught in the middle and those without means to provide care for themselves.

Iraqi soldiers secured the immediate area as the U.S. soldiers provided desperately needed care at the Taji soccer stadium April 11.

After arriving at the location, the soldiers secured the surrounding area and set security checkpoints to ensure safety and security for local nationals entering the area for treatment. MNDB soldiers then drove around broadcasting a message in Arabic to let people know about the operation and invite them to seek help.

As coalition and Iraqi medics provided care, physician assistants diagnosed problems, and dental technicians saw patients needing dental care.

"We're here to provide medical aid to local nationals, specifically the ones who live in the local Fedayeen camp," said Army Capt. Casey Coyle, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.

He said the medical teams treated about 300 people. Most ailments the teams treated were skin infections and nose and chest congestion problems, Coyle said.

During the mission, civil affairs and Iraqi army personnel provided humanitarian supplies to locals after the families received medical care. "Our mission was to distribute humanitarian assistance," said Army Master Sgt. Ronnie Reece, civil affairs noncommissioned officer-in-charge of Company A, 490th Civil Affairs Battalion. "And if any of the area tribal leaders come, we engage them about economic, security and infrastructure issues."

The clothing, office supplies and soccer balls were donated by an assortment of organizations. Locals who took part in the operation were pleased about the care and assistance they received.

"I appreciate the help. I had eye trouble and back pain, and they gave me some medicine," Nehiah, a local woman, said. "Someone told us the American soldiers were here to help, and I came. God bless them."

Iraqi, USA Work together

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