Some Good News from Iraq - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-31-2005, 09:36 AM   #1
The Fly
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 209
Local Time: 02:29 AM
Some Good News from Iraq

I know most of the people on this forum are liberal and probably loathe the military, the name of this forum is Free Your Mind..think about it.

Iraqi, U.S. C-130 crewmembers fly boy to receive heart surgery


by Tech. Sgt. Melissa Phillips
407th Air Expeditionary Group Public Affairs

8/23/2005 - ALI BASE, Iraq (AFPN) -- Although 8-year-old Baher looks happy and healthy, Iraqi and U.S. Air Force C-130 crewmembers knew his true condition when they gave him the ride of his life Aug. 22.

Baher and his mother, Afaf, were headed to New Orleans to repair a hole in his heart via a new program called Operation Mend a Heart. Airmen and Soldiers were glad to get the healing process underway.

“I was very happy to (be a part of the aircrew to) help him,” said Iraqi air force navigator Atiya from Squadron 23 (Transport). His full name is not used because of personal security. Atiya was one of the C-130 crewmembers who flew Baher from Baghdad International Airport to Basra Air Station on the first leg of his journey.

Atiya has reason to sympathize.

“I have three boys myself,” said Atiya, who held Baher on his lap to show him the airplane’s control panel.

From Basra, Soldiers from Humanitarian Operation Center Army Civil Affairs were waiting to whisk the family to Kuwait to obtain the proper visas and paperwork they would need for their ultimate destination -- Tulane University and Hospital Clinic in New Orleans where Baher will receive surgery to correct his congenital heart defect.

The $100,000 surgery, which is donated by Tulane, was facilitated through Operation Mend a Heart -- a joint effort among Tulane, the U.S. military and coalition forces. More than 10 different U.S. and coalition military and civilian agencies are involved in the effort.

“Let’s just say it’s a network of inspired people,” said Army Lt. Col. Mark Matthews Sr., who helped coordinate intra-theater airlift. While deployed to Southwest Asia in January from the 90th Regional Readiness Command at Camp Pike in Little Rock, Ark., he began dreaming of ways to help Iraqi children with heart problems.

Colonel Matthews knew about the Iraqi air force and heard it wanted to help. So even though he is back home, he helped smooth over the logistical bumps and get a hold of the right people to involve Squadron 23 Airmen.

Although the airlift portion of the Ali Base trip was short, it left a lasting impression.

“This was the first (advisory support team) mission that flew humanitarian airlift for their country,” said Maj. Bob May, a Squadron 23 pilot instructor assigned to the 777th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron here.

“It was a great feeling being able to do this together with so many Iraqi crewmembers on board,” he said.

Major May was the co-pilot and an Iraqi officer piloted the aircraft.

“I got to share some of my wife’s homemade chocolate chip cookies with him,” said Major May, who is deployed from Little Rock.

At the end of the trip, U.S. crewmembers asked one of the Iraqis to translate their well-wishes to the mother and son.

“We asked the translator to tell them it was an honor for us to be able to help him,” said Major May, whose son is Baher’s age.

“When Baher and his mother were driving away, they were all big smiles,” Major May said. “It’s good to know you’re making an impact and doing something good for other people.”

That same spirit of kindness is what inspired Colonel Matthews, who sowed the seeds for the idea of the organization while helping a 5-year-old Iraqi girl named Noor get airlift to Kuwait aboard a Japanese aircraft earlier this year.

Her story reached wide acclaim and recognition through the recently deceased journalist Peter Jennings.

“On a phone call home, I described how humbled I was to have been a part of helping Noor,” Matthews said. Later, the organization came up with the phrase
‘You must have a heart to save a heart.’”

The fever for the program snowballed until it involved a long list of supporters, to include U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu from Louisiana.

“The people behind Operation Mend a Heart understand that one way we can support our troops is by supporting the people they are fighting for, the children of Iraq,” according to Sen. Landrieu.

“Operation Mend a Heart will help provide the humanitarian medical assistance to the underprivileged children of Iraq who would otherwise not have access to the pediatric medical and surgical care they need,” she said.

During the expected four-week recovery period after the surgery, an Iraqi professor at Tulane will host the mother and son. They are expected to return to Iraq sometime in October.

For many of those involved, the intense logistical coordination required is indicative of the lesser-known role the military plays in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“Most Americans think of our military in combat roles,” said Operation Mend a Heart program founder Karen Troyer-Caraway and vice president of TUHC.

“Many Americans do not realize that our military mission also includes humanitarian assistance, rebuilding communities and investing in the future. Operation Mend a Heart is ordinary Americans helping the U.S. military accomplish their mission,” Ms. Troyer-Caraway said.
__________________

__________________
Abomb-baby is offline  
Old 08-31-2005, 10:46 AM   #2
BVS
Blue Crack Supplier
 
BVS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: between my head and heart
Posts: 40,694
Local Time: 03:29 AM
Re: Some Good News from Iraq

Quote:
Originally posted by Abomb-baby
I know most of the people on this forum are liberal and probably loathe the military, the name of this forum is Free Your Mind..think about it.
Maybe you should take your own advice before you paint a whole group as "loathing the military".
__________________

__________________
BVS is offline  
Old 08-31-2005, 11:43 AM   #3
The Fly
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 209
Local Time: 02:29 AM
I didn't paint any group anything just giving an opinion on what I read in this forum. Most people who post on this forum have very liberal viewpoints.Those viewpoints tend to be not very positive of the military.
__________________
Abomb-baby is offline  
Old 08-31-2005, 11:52 AM   #4
ONE
love, blood, life
 
financeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 10,122
Local Time: 10:29 AM
Military service to me is just a career like any other, not necessarily 'better', not necessarily 'worse' than other careers.

Regarding the article, yes it's certainly good news. It's just that it's outweighed by all the bad news we hear, sadly.
__________________
financeguy is offline  
Old 08-31-2005, 11:59 AM   #5
The Fly
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 44
Local Time: 09:29 AM
Nice story. It's too bad they were headed for New Orleans. Now Baher and Afaf might really think dealing with the US is a curse not a blessing.
__________________
withashout is offline  
Old 08-31-2005, 12:55 PM   #6
BVS
Blue Crack Supplier
 
BVS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: between my head and heart
Posts: 40,694
Local Time: 03:29 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Abomb-baby
I didn't paint any group anything just giving an opinion on what I read in this forum. Most people who post on this forum have very liberal viewpoints.Those viewpoints tend to be not very positive of the military.
I've seen many who are against this war, but very few against the military, but I'm sure you could show me all these examples, right?
__________________

__________________
BVS is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:29 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com