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Saturday, September 26, 2009

AFP and JSOTF-P Support Operation Smile, in TAWI-TAWI

TAWI-TAWI, Republic of the Philippines (Sept. 24, 2009) A Navy SEAL assigned to Joint Special Operations Task Force – Philippines assists a female doctor from Operation Smile Philippines in boarding a Mark-V special operations craft. JSOTF-P members from Task Force Archipelago (TF-62) transported the group of doctors so that they could perform 24 surgeries of cleft lips and pallets to patients in Tawi-Tawi Island, southern Philippines. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Jerel Jones/Released)

By MCC(SW/AW) Jerel Jones
Joint Special Operations Task-Force-Philippines Public Affairs

TAWI-TAWI, Republic of the Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines and Joint Special Operations Task Force – Philippines provided medical supplies, security escorts, and transportation, enabling 10 civilian doctors from Operation Smile Philippines to perform 24 surgeries Sept. 23-26.

Located at Datu Halon Sakilan Memorial Hospital in the province of Tawi-Tawi, the event was a collaborative effort of many organizations, coming together for a greater cause.

“Without the help from the AFP and the JSOTF-P, this event may have not been possible,” said Rachel P. Halipa, president of the Rotary Club of Bongao, Tawi Tawi.At the hospital, doctors corrected cleft-lips and pallets of patients ranging in ages two to 65 years old. One patient, a 65-year-old man, was overcome with emotion after his procedure.

“Thank you, thank you. I no longer have to be looked at like some kind of a monster,” he said.

The supplies AFP and JSOTF-P supplied enabled the doctors to perform their surgeries and also aided in the patient’s comfort. AFP Marine Battalion Landing Team TWO (MBLT-2) provided cots and JSOTF-P distributed crayons, coloring books, stuffed animals, and various other toys for children recovering from surgery.

“When we work together we can do these great things, so we will continue working with the AFP and the local government units to provide these services for the people of the Republic of the Philippines,” said U.S. Army Capt. Peter E. Murphy, civil affairs team leader.

Since its founding in 1982, Operation Smile volunteers have treated more than 130,000 children born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities in 51 countries.

“It is because of the assistance of the AFP and JSOTF-P that the children will now be able to have a better childhood and a better life from the kindness of the hearts of the doctors that participated,” said Halipa.

1 comment:

  1. Very well written, I was at this mission and I have met the guy who wrote this. He is a man of honor and valor. You should get more men in the military of his kind.