Soldiers give the gift of speech
July 22, 2009
- During a routine patrol, Soldiers from 10th Mountain Division, caught wind of a local elder who had voice box removed
- Soldiers were able to aquire an artificial voice box for the elder.
- The elder can now speak again
KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- Soldiers from Task Force Mountain Warrior's, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, helped Jallal, a local village elder in the Kunar province, regain his voice.
While patrolling during a Key Leader Engagement, Feb. 9, the elder's situation was brought to the Soldiers' attention. Jallal's voice box had been removed as part of a cancer-removal surgery in Pakistan.
After hearing of the man's situation, 1st Lt. John Carlson, a medical platoon leader with Task Force Chosin, felt that something had to be done. With the help of fellow 1st Bn., 32nd Inf. Reg. Soldiers, Carlson decided to try to acquire an electro larynx, an artificial voice box, which costs approximately $600.
After Carlson's first attempt to acquire the voice box proved unsuccessful, Maj. Jennifer Bell, brigade surgeon, TF Spartan, felt she could help with the situation.
She turned to a friend in Chicago, who was eager to help, and the artificial voice box was on its way to the Company C Soldiers, arriving at Combat Outpost Monti, April 26.
When Jallal was handed the new device, the Soldiers all gathered around to watch the joyful expression on his face. Jallal's family was in awe as the man spoke for the first time in years.
When Coalition Forces returned to the village, Jallal approached the Soldiers and greeted them with his new voice.
According to Jallal, through the device he received, it's the small things in life, such as gifts like these, which really make a difference.