118th Medical Battalion cuts ribbon on new clinic


LSA ANACONDA, BALAD, Iraq — Anaconda-based Soldiers joined a local sheik and village leaders in a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of a new medical clinic near here Aug. 19.

Soldiers from the 118th Medical Battalion and the civil affairs staff of 13th Corps Support Command sponsored the construction of the new clinic in Al Anwar Village. The clinic was built from the ground up in less than two months and cost more than $79,000.

"They have really done a great job [on construction]," said Lt. Col. Robert Cody, the 118th Med. Bn. commander. "We wanted to give something back to the Iraqi people," he added, explaining why his battalion sponsored the clinic construction.

"It's a great feeling to be here and be part of this clinic opening," said Spc. Juliet Barkley, a Soldier in the 118th Med. Bn. Barkley said it is easy to get caught up in day-to-day life on post and seeing the kids in the village reminded her of the true reason that she is here.

"Seeing all these needy children running around barefoot is not something I am used to," she said. Seeing them made her want to go home and hug her kids, she added.

The 118th Med. Bn. plans to furnish the clinic and is also working on getting expendable medical supplies to stock the clinic's treatment rooms.

Since January the 13th COSCOM has funded more than $4.3 million in infrastructure improvements ranging from water and power plant improvements to school and medical clinic construction in the villages surrounding LSA Anaconda.