The 176th Optometry Detachment, 61st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, recently returned from a deployment to Camp Afrijan, Kuwait. The four Soldiers who deployed conducted optometry operations for all of Kuwait to include Camp Arifjan, Buehring and Ahmad al-Jaber Air Base. While deployed, the team saw over 1500 patients, ordered 3000 pairs of glasses and made over 250 glasses on site.
“Kuwait was a good change of pace in military life from the everyday operations of garrison.” said Spc. Deen Alcaraz, 176th Optometry Detachment. “It was a good experience to talk and work with reservist Soldiers from different parts of the country.”
While in country, the Soldiers also assisted with COVID-19 operations, conducted site visits at surrounding camps and were also able to visit Kuwait City after receiving their COVID-19 vaccines.
For three of the four Soldiers, it was their first deployment and they rose to the occasion.
“Being gone for nine months was challenging but my Soldiers and I learned a lot," said Capt. Kerstin Amezcua. "Working as part of a small, close-knit team was extremely rewarding. It’s nice to be home though. We all definitely missed our families a lot and are very happy that we’re home!”
Returning from a deployment and reintegrating into garrison and home life can be a difficult transition, and the 61st MMB is dedicated to assisting their Soldiers. If you or a loved one is having difficulties or concerns, don't be afraid to seek help. Contact your teammate, leadership or friend, or contact any of the programs the Army has available here: https://www.militaryonesource.mil/military-life-cycle/deployment/returning-home-from-deployment/returning-home-from-deployment-the-essentials/