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Marines visit hospital and IP Station

HIT, Iraq —
HIT, Iraq Marines with 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5, continued their mission of assisting Iraqi people in Hit, Iraq.

http://www.marines.mil/units/marforpac/imef/mnfwest/Pages/MarinesvisithospitalandIPStation.aspx

3/31/2008 By Cpl. Erik Villagran, 5th Marine Regiment

Company I, 3rd Bn., 4th Marines, performed a mobile patrol through the city stopping at two important destinations.

“The objective of our patrol was to build rapport with the people and see if we could help the hospital with anything,” said Lance Cpl. Israel H. Aguirre, 21, a team leader with Company I from Miluakia, Ore. “We also wanted to check out how the (Iraqi Police) were working.”

Marines made their way to the hospital through the congested streets of the town. After setting up security outside the hospital, a few of the Marines entered the building with a doctor.

“They were more then willing to let us walk around,” Aguirre said. “They showed us around the hospital. They took us to see a girl who was sick and that was heartbreaking. There wasn’t anything they didn’t show us.”

It was the first time Seaman Nicholas C. Vassilopolous, 25, a corpsman with Compnay I from Southwick, Mass., had visited an Iraqi hospital. He said he was pleasantly surprised by how similar it was to any other hospital.

“It was better then what I thought it was going to be,” Vassilopolous said. “It was really organized. They had a lab area and X-rays.”

While they walked around the hospital, Marines offered the hospital staff assistance in anything they needed. Aguirre ensured they weren’t having problems with food, water and electricity.

“We want to get (the Iraqis) what they need,” Aguirre said. “We want to show the Iraqi people that we are here to help.”

After the tour of the hospital, the Marines moved on to an IP station. Iraqi policemen greeted the patrol with open arms and quickly launched into a walk through of the facility.

“They let us know that they were more then willing to work with us,” Aguirre said.

Marines walked through the jail inside the IP station to see how the prisoners were treated and discussed recent activity in the area with the policemen.

Marines were pleased with how the IP station was run and were satisfied on how the patrol went overall.

“The patrol flowed nicely,” Aguirre said. “We let the IPs know we are willing to work together. We showed people at the hospital we’re not just here to fight. Only good things can come from doing humanitarian things like helping hospitals.”