Release Date: Jul 11, 2008
by Sgt. David Chapman
30th Medical Brigade Public Affairs
MK AIRFIELD ADMINISTRATION CENTER, Romania — Two members of the Heidelberg Medical Activity are providing optical medical services to the citizens here during a Humanitarian Civic Assistance mission in cooperation with Joint Task Force-East.
Army Lt. Col. Dexel Peters, HMEDDAC chief of optometry and Army Staff Sgt. Jonathon Ivie, HMEDDAC noncommissioned officer in charge of ophthalmology, are performing eye exams and providing glasses to those in need throughout the month in July.
"Our mission here is to help the local Romanian population in the nearby villages to see better with the use of spectacles we are brining here from various donated sources as well as those purchased by Army funds," Peters said. "In addition we will provide some glaucoma screening services for the population. We are here to create good relations between the Romanian people and the U.S. military."
These donated glasses gave the gift of better seeing to those in the communities.
"We have about 400 pair of glasses. Most of the donations come from individuals in the Army who have donated glasses and some came from the Lions Club organization," Peters said, adding that about four or five thousand glasses were purchased for the mission.
IvieeÃ¢?s goals for the end of the mission are both professional and personal.
"I just want to help and educate as many people as I can while I am here,,Ã¢? he said. Ã¢?But I also want to gain more experience while I am here so that I can keep doing these missions and get better each time."
At the end of the mission the team hopes to have made a connection with the people of the small villages around Romania.
"I think this is a chance to make a friend. I hope that one day a kid or a brother can look back and say that an American came here and helped us out," Peters said.