• Sgt. David Branshaw of Chandler, Ariz., a medic in B Troop, 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, bandages the burns of Rqiah Mriosh, of al-Swarah, Iraq, March 28, 2010, at Contingency Operating Station Zulu.

    Medics of 3-1 Cav apply healing hands

    Sgt. David Branshaw of Chandler, Ariz., a medic in B Troop, 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, bandages the burns of Rqiah Mriosh, of al-Swarah, Iraq, March 28, 2010, at Contingency Operating...

  • Staff Sgt. Matthew Goodner, a native of St. Petersburg, Fla., B Troop, 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, assists with dressing the burns on Rqiah Mriosh of, al-Swarah, Iraq, at Contingency Operating Station Zulu, March 28, 2010. Rqiah was burned in a household accident and brought to the bases aid station at the request of Major Mohammad Ghassan Mohammad of the 2nd Battalion, 32nd Brigade, 8th Iraqi Army Division.

    Medics of 3-1 Cav apply healing hands

    Staff Sgt. Matthew Goodner, a native of St. Petersburg, Fla., B Troop, 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, assists with dressing the burns on Rqiah Mriosh of, al-Swarah, Iraq, at Contingency...

  • Adel Mohommed Mriosh, of al-Swarah, Iraq, smiles at his 2-year-old daughter, Rqiah, after she has been treated by medics from B Troop, 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, March 28, 2010, at Contingency Operating Station Zulu. The two were leaving the COS Zulu aid station after Rqiah received treatment for burns she suffered as a result of a household accident the day before.

    Medics of 3-1 Cav apply healing hands

    Adel Mohommed Mriosh, of al-Swarah, Iraq, smiles at his 2-year-old daughter, Rqiah, after she has been treated by medics from B Troop, 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, March 28, 2010, at...

COB ZULU, Iraq (March 31, 2010) -- The call for aid came early in the evening, March 28: an Iraqi officer needed help from U.S. Soldiers in treating a burn victim. What made this particular request unusual was that the patient was a 2-year-old girl.

Maj. Mohammad Ghassan Mohammad, operations officer for 2nd Battalion, 32nd Brigade, 8th Iraqi Army Division, made the call to B Troop, 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, and the U.S. Soldiers responded.

"When she arrived [at Contingency Operating Station Zulu] we thought that she was covered with third-degree burns," said Staff Sgt. Matthew Goodner, a native of St. Petersburg, Fla., one of the medics who assisted with treating the child.

"Once inside, we found that she wasn't burned as badly as we had thought," he said. "What we initially thought were burns were actually grounds from coffee or tea."

Her family reported that the child, who is named Rqiah, was burned when she fell down and upset a kettle of scalding tea.

Once Rqiah was cleaned up by the medics, they were able to identify and treat her burns.

"The burns covering her face made me concerned for her eye at first," said Pfc. Skylar Humburd of Fort Madison, Iowa. "Kids are the worst thing to see over here. When you see a kid suffering, it is terrible."

The unpleasant task of cleaning the burns was emotionally challenging for everyone involved.

"Some of the things that we have to do in treatment are not always pleasant" said Spc. Daniel Conklin of Battle Creek, Mich. "When we treat children, it becomes a great deal more personal for us."

During the treatment, Sgt. David Branshaw, of Chandler, Ariz., sang Jimmy Buffet songs to soothe Rqiah.

"I have three children at home and I find that singing, even if they don't understand the words, helps to distract them," he said. "I guess my father instinct kicked in."

The medics, who operate as part of the operations of 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, expressed the hope that their contact with Rqiah would not end with the initial treatment.

"We are going to ask that she come back every day, for the next few days, so that we can change her dressings and monitor her burns" said Goodner.

Rqiah's uncle, Sadeq Mohmoed Mriosh, said he was glad that they treated her.

"Thank you, I cannot express it enough," said Sadeq.

Yet, the medics themselves were grateful simply for the chance to help.

"I love my job, but it makes me feel especially great when I can help a child," Humburd said.

Page last updated Thu April 1st, 2010 at 03:44