Helping Iraqi children is the norm

The headline described it as 'a new mission.'  It was referring to the U.S. Army cutting red tape and getting an Iraqi child, 'Baby Noor,' to America for critical surgery to cure a birth defect.

It is not a new mission.  Since the liberation of Iraq, U.S. military doctors, medical personnel, civil affairs people and troops have helped Iraqi children when and wherever possible, whether handing out soccer balls, rebuilding schools, then supplying them with books and materials, refurbishing health clinics, providing them with basic medical needs or delivering needed equipment to pediatric clinics.  Or, bringing a baby to America for life—saving surgery.

In May 2004, Baby Fatemah Hassan was flown to the Ohio State University's Children's Hospital for an operation to remove a face and neck growth.  It happened because the commander of 1st Battalion, 150th Armor in Iraq, Lt. Col. Todd Frederick, knew it had to be done.  He contacted a friend at Children's Hospital. The rest is happy history. Mother and healthy child are back in Iraq.

In August 2004, 2nd LT Todd Wilson, a physician's assistant with the 1st ID, realized that little Fatma Abdul Aziz needed heart surgery.  Through contacts he notified Cincinnati Children's Hospital, where the girl underwent a successful operation.

On December 29, 2005 young Hajer Sallam Yonsif received birth defect surgery at East Tennessee's Children's Hospital after the 278th Regimental Combat Team's Lt. Col. Kim Dees set the bureaucratic machinery in motion.

Ten days before that, 11 year old Wsim Rabea underwent successful open heart surgery at New York's Montefiore Children's Hospital, one of four Iraqi children brought to America for that procedure.  It happened through the personal efforts of Staff Sgt. Marikay Satryano of the Iraqi Assistance Center in Baghdad and sponsorship by the Rotary International's Gift of Life Program.

American Soldiers and Americans have always helped and cared for children from other countries during wartime.  Iraq is just the latest example of this humanitarian, life—giving tradition.   

John B. Dwyer   1 04 06

The headline described it as 'a new mission.'  It was referring to the U.S. Army cutting red tape and getting an Iraqi child, 'Baby Noor,' to America for critical surgery to cure a birth defect.

It is not a new mission.  Since the liberation of Iraq, U.S. military doctors, medical personnel, civil affairs people and troops have helped Iraqi children when and wherever possible, whether handing out soccer balls, rebuilding schools, then supplying them with books and materials, refurbishing health clinics, providing them with basic medical needs or delivering needed equipment to pediatric clinics.  Or, bringing a baby to America for life—saving surgery.

In May 2004, Baby Fatemah Hassan was flown to the Ohio State University's Children's Hospital for an operation to remove a face and neck growth.  It happened because the commander of 1st Battalion, 150th Armor in Iraq, Lt. Col. Todd Frederick, knew it had to be done.  He contacted a friend at Children's Hospital. The rest is happy history. Mother and healthy child are back in Iraq.

In August 2004, 2nd LT Todd Wilson, a physician's assistant with the 1st ID, realized that little Fatma Abdul Aziz needed heart surgery.  Through contacts he notified Cincinnati Children's Hospital, where the girl underwent a successful operation.

On December 29, 2005 young Hajer Sallam Yonsif received birth defect surgery at East Tennessee's Children's Hospital after the 278th Regimental Combat Team's Lt. Col. Kim Dees set the bureaucratic machinery in motion.

Ten days before that, 11 year old Wsim Rabea underwent successful open heart surgery at New York's Montefiore Children's Hospital, one of four Iraqi children brought to America for that procedure.  It happened through the personal efforts of Staff Sgt. Marikay Satryano of the Iraqi Assistance Center in Baghdad and sponsorship by the Rotary International's Gift of Life Program.

American Soldiers and Americans have always helped and cared for children from other countries during wartime.  Iraq is just the latest example of this humanitarian, life—giving tradition.   

John B. Dwyer   1 04 06