Tampa medics travel half the country to treat Soldiers in Texas
July 13, 2012
FORT BLISS, Texas - A harsh sun, 100-degree weather, violent winds and sand as far as the eye can see; 66 medical Soldiers from Tampa, Fla., currently find themselves far away from home at Fort Bliss and the El Paso desert.
Since last December, the Soldiers of the 7222nd Medical Support Unit have been supporting unit readiness and providing medical care to servicemembers at the Soldier Resilience and Readiness Center.
Although the mobilized reserve Soldiers may not be in a combat environment, they are still separated from their families, working long days for an entire year and proving that Soldiers deploy anywhere in the world to support freedom, even to other parts of the United States.
"It's not all about kicking in doors and throwing bullets down range," said Lt. Col. Murray Kramer, commander of 7222nd MSU. "It's [about] taking care of Soldiers. That's why were in the medical field, to take care of people."
At SRRC, servicemembers of every branch receive a screening, to include visual, hearing and behavioral health exams, to ensure they are as medically fit as possible. This guarantees that all servicemembers, particularly Soldiers leaving for and returning from a deployment, are ready for whatever mission they need to accomplish.
It can be a difficult task, especially with approximately 94,000 people coming through per year, but the Soldiers of the 7222nd MSU have a unique combination of skills that makes them perfect for the job, said Kramer.
As reserve Soldiers, they not only have the military training necessary to complete the mission, but they also have their extensive experience as civilian medical professionals. It's the best of both worlds as some might say.
"We bring a wide range of expertise to the table and [we] know that we're here to take care of Soldiers," said Kramer.
In fact, taking care of Soldiers is one of the best parts of working at 7222nd MSU and SRRC, said SSG Williston Brewer, a case management NCO with the unit.
"I love what I do," said Brewer. "We get to come to a big base where you have slews of Soldiers. A wide range of personalities come through here, and they all have stories. It's nice to see."
Helping servicemembers is not the only benefit these mobilized Soldiers from Tampa receive. In addition to helping others, they also have the opportunity to develop themselves.
Many of the Soldiers have taken it upon themselves to aggressively pursue their college education and improve their physical fitness.
"I'm very proud of all of the things these Soldiers are doing," said Kramer.
With almost half of their tour of duty completed, the Soldiers from 7222nd MSU are not ready to start slacking yet. They are looking forward to going home, but they are still working as hard as ever to care for people, he said.
"We have a very good team here," Kramer said about his unit. "The success of this mission is the Soldiers we have working here every day. I'm very proud."