Photo Information

Hit, Al Anbar, Iraq (July 28, 2005)--Commanding officer of Company "1", Col. Mahdi A. Mohammed, a 39-year-old Mosul native speaks with the hospital administrator. (Official USMC Photo by Corporal Ken Melton)

Photo by Cpl. Ken Melton

3/25, ISF distribute medical supplies to hospital, clinics

28 Jul 2005 | Cpl. Ken Melton 2nd Marine Division

As the convoy rolled to a stop in front of the local hospital here, the citizens were sure that it was another search or security procedure. What they didn’t expect was to have Multi-National forces, led by Iraqi Security Force soldiers and supported by the Marines of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, to pull up and announce they wanted to know where they wanted medical supplies placed. Colonel Mahdi A. Mohammed, the commanding officer of Company 1, ISF, and with his soldiers turned over the supplies to the hospital administrator. “We are very happy to help out the civilians with more than our security presence,” the 39-year-old Mosul, Iraq native said. “This will help build a bridge of trust between the citizens and our soldiers.” Before Operation Saif (Sword), the medical supplies had been stored in a youth facility until they could be transferred to the hospital. Multi-National forces had since occupied the building and worked to return the supplies and provided additional supplies that they had on hand. The mood of the Iraqi citizen’s brightened as they rushed to retrieve the medicines so they could put them to immediate use. “This was a definite welcome surprise to them,” said 38-year-old Master Sgt. Ray M. Sides, a 5th Civil Affairs staff non-commissioned officer and San Diego native. “We had to come unannounced because of safety issues, but I’m glad everything went smoothly.” Due to the large quantity of medical supplies, the coalition forces were able to distribute some to the local clinics as well. After all the supplies were distributed, Mohammed presented a new Iraqi flag to the administrator to replace their older torn one. “This will help improve the image of ISF soldiers since they are new to the public,” the 1985 Samuel F.B. Morris High School and 1996 National University graduate said. “This will help bring stability to the country so the ISF can operate it independently in the future.” Mohammed beamed with pride as he talked with civilians, doctors and other hospital staff during the event. He knows that even small actions such as this will have a big impact in the future. “We are grateful for the help the U.S. provides and we want to make our country one of the greatest and are willing to do all it takes to make it so,” Mohammed said. “As we continue taking small steps such as these, we will achieve that dream.”