MEDRETE El Salvador June 2007

Dr. Rich Hendershot conducted a general medical assessment of an El Salvadorian family. Maj. Hendershot is one of the members from the 140th Medical Group, supported by members from the South Dakota and Illinois Air National Guard units, deployed to Sonsonate, El Salvador, from June 10-21, where they are served a two-week humanitarian mission, while gaining invaluable operational training. More than 20 medics are strengthening their skills while operating medical clinics under third-world conditions. During the deployment, the members will establish three temporary clinics in some of the most critical areas of the country. "This is an incredible opportunity for our medics to get real-world experience," said Col. John Torres, commander of the 140th Medical Group, Colorado Air National Guard. "They're experiencing things here that aren't commonplace back in the states. Much of the patients are requiring treatments for ailments that are due to limited medical care, like tooth extractions and eye glasses, but there are also some extreme cases, like full-body eczema." The unit is supporting a Department of Defense sponsored Humanitarian Civic Assistance, which is being carried out with the cooperation of local civilian and military personnel. "Everyone has been extremely generous," said Torres. "We are working side-by-side with the local authorities and local doctors. They've been extremely gracious and very courteous. They have provided everything we've needed, from transportation to 24-hour security teams." Photographer: 1st Lt. Darin Overstreet, Deputy Public Affairs Officer, JFHQ-CO (For Public Release)

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