'Hearts and Minds' Reaps Friendship Amongst Fellow Policemen in Hawijah
Capt. Jeffrey Tyler, 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regt.'s physician's assistant, prepares to add a piece of casting to an Iraqi Policeman's leg.
The PTTs at Forward Operating Base McHenry who are attached to the 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regt. have added forming alliances, and assisting with rebuilding diplomacy in the district of Hawijah, an area that measures 4,200 square miles, in the Kirkuk Province of northeastern Iraq, to their duties.
During one mission which had the 1175th MP Company assessing an Iraqi Police station, Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Knelange was approached by a young Iraqi policeman who walked with a limp. The IP told Knelange that he had lost his leg in an Improvised Explosive Device attack. He asked the staff sergeant if the Coalition Force could do anything to help with the primitive prosthetic limb he had received through Iraqi healthcare. "I made no promises," Knelange said. "I brought the request up with my chain of command. And my highers consulted with Task Force Summit's medical operations officer. The 1-87 medical personnel did not hesitate to assist said Knelange.
Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Knelange of the 1175th MP Company accompanied the Iraqi Policemen to Forward Operating Base McHenry's Aid Station for his fitting.
It is common knowledge amongst CF medical personnel that they cannot violate medical rules of engagement with the intent of assisting the Iraqi nation to establish their own self-sufficient healthcare program, according to Capt. Jeffrey Tyler, the battalion's physician's assistant.
Tyler said that due to those rules, the battalion was restricted as to what options to pursue. This did not deter the MPs of 1175th to assist their fellow law enforcement professional, so they turned to non-government agencies.
Pfc. Brandon Minor, a medic with 1-87's medical platoon, works to compact the cast before he detaches it and prepares it for shipment as the Iraqi policeman who is being fitted watches.
A California National Guardsman, Spc. Angelica Perez, 24, attached to the Missouri MP unit ,labored on the internet researching NGOs online, "one at a time," Perez said. She explained to numerous organizations the situation this IP was in, and requested assistance for a new prosthetic or something more practical. Her efforts paid off as, "one caring former service member responded representing 'Operation Give'," she said.
Perez described the need to help this young man and the potential affects a new leg would have on the overall public perception of the CF. She further explained this would also lend additional credibility to the ongoing efforts 1-87 Soldiers were demonstrating to the people of Hawijah that the CF care about the people of the district.
Cpt. Jeffrey Tyler and Pfc. Brandon Minor fit an Iraqi policeman for a new prosthetic donated by "Operation Give".
"1-87 continues to win the hearts and minds of the people of Hawijah," Perez said.
A couple of emails later, the 1175th MP's were instructed on the criteria needed to obtain a new prosthetic leg from the United States. "After gathering all the critical information, Spc.Perez and I brought the IP to the battalion's aid station for an assessment," Knelange said. Capt. Jeffrey Tyler, the battalion's physician's assistant, made a mold of the amputated limb to ensure accurate measurements. The cast was then shipped to the organization willing to help.
Cpt. Jeffrey Tyler and Pfc. Brandon Minor fit an Iraqi policeman for a new prosthetic donated by "Operation Give."
Both the MPs and 1-87 medical personnel are currently awaiting the arrival of the artifical limb. When asked why she became involved, Perez said the she wanted to contribute to TF Summit's efforts in returning a state of normalcy to the people of the Hawijah district. "It's great to know that helping this individual could directly affect the stability of this area in a positive way."
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