Clinc Groundbreaking


LSA ANACONDA, BALAD, Iraq — Soldiers and local village leaders joined together Monday in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new medical clinic near here.

Leaders of the 118th Medical Battalion and the 13th COSCOM Civil Affairs Office joined the sheik and the mayor of Al-Anwar village in a ceremonial groundbreaking for the much-needed clinic.

The 13th COSCOM Civil Affairs staff is supervising the construction contract for the clinic and actually awarded the contract on June 11th. The villagers were so excited about their new clinic that they immediately began work without waiting for the groundbreaking ceremony.

"I was very surprised to see the progress being made today. This was supposed to be the initial groundbreaking, but they already have the first three or four layers of brick on there," said Lt. Col. Robert Cody, the 118th Med. Bn. commander

"They are very anxious to get this clinic built. The contractor said he was only supposed to hire 12 workers, but to get it done quicker and put more money into the community he hired 27. All of them are from the village, and there dozens more just pitching in," he added.

The village children even pitched in carrying bricks and water to the worksite.

The clinic will be stocked with donated supplies and equipment and will be used as a permanent facility for future Medical Civil Assistance Projects.

The 118th Med. Bn's role in the project is to sponsor the clinic and solicit donations for equipment and supplies. Their work has already paid off as a hospital in Washington recently donated a truckload of supplies.

"This clinic will be a tremendous help. A lot of these people need simple things like vitamins, shampoo and just items to treat skin irritations," said Sgt. Tanya Williams, a soldier from the 118th Med. Bn.

Since its arrival in January, the 13th COSCOM has spent more than $1.5 million to rebuild the facilities and infrastructure of the villages surrounding LSA Anaconda.