Tropic Care 2012

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Erica Barker
  • 110th Airlift Wing Medical Group
Over 350 military members from across the United States joined up in Kauai, Hawaii for this humanitarian mission. There was representation from the Air Force, guard and reserve, Navy reserve and Army reserve. All of the personnel came together and worked side by side to make the vision of this mission a reality. It was truly a mission to be proud of.

Several members from Medical and a handful from Services spent two weeks in Hawaii for this humanitarian mission. While many people may see this mission as a cover for a vacation, it was quite the opposite. Not only were the living and working conditions less than desirable, but also the members were forced to survive floods, downpours and continual rains. All of this was accomplished with a positive attitude that couldn't be broken. "Embrace the suck" became the golden phrase during those two weeks. Despite the difficulties in living arrangements and the weather, the hard working airman of the 110 AW demonstrated the dedication and commitment that continues to set this wing out in front of the rest. In fact, more than a few members were personally recognized by the Governor of Hawaii and Mayor of Kauai as key members to the success of the operation.

The mission provided just over 5 million dollars of free medical care to the citizens of Kauai. These medical services included optometry, dental and regular medical care. There were 3 clinical sites set up around the island to maximize availability. Optometry provided eye exams, free eye glasses and basic frame fitting for those in need. Dental was able to provide a number of services to include cleanings, fillings and extractions. Medical was set up as a health clinic and was able to do basic exams with a limited medication formulary. All and all the people of Kauai were very thankful and appreciative. Some even came back to make sure they utilized all the services available. The hospitality of the island was so motivating and heartwarming, it was sure to whip any doubt of mission aside.