To anyone who has received a drawing from a small child, there’s no mistaking this gesture is a pure expression of trust and friendship. In Maiwand district, on the door of a remote medical clinic, run by coalition special operations forces, hang several drawings given to medics by local children.
“We have children visit our medical clinic all the time,” said a medic assigned to support special operations forces. “Some of the drawings were created by a little 7-year-old Afghan boy after we treated his 4-year-old sister for over three months.”
Bibiamina, a young Afghan girl, was taken to the clinic by her older brother because she had a severe infection on her scalp. The medics identified it as a form of Impetigo and began treating her.
“Her infection was so bad, we had to wrap her scalp in a dressing and see her every day for three months,” said the medic. “We nicknamed her ‘Q-Tip’ because, when her head was covered in the gauze, she looked like a little cotton swab.”
In the course of Bibiamina’s treatment, she and her brother would play with toys donated to them by the special operations forces medics or draw pictures. One morning, the two children returned to the clinic with their works of art and proudly presented them to the medics.
“I was surprised to see the drawings and how much they paid attention to us with the details in their pictures,” said the medic.
One picture of a military vehicle shows the communications antennas, the U.S. soldiers have rifles with scopes, and even chin straps on the helmets.
“We hung the pictures up so the children would see them and know how much we appreciate their artwork,” said the medic.
The medics often see Bibiamina in the village and are very happy her scalp condition is cured and her hair is growing back. When she sees the medics, she always comes over to shake hands. These special operations forces medics say these children are Afghanistan’s future, and perhaps they’ll remember their kindness when they are adults.
“It makes me happy we can connect with the kids,” said the special operations forces medic. “The children are pure and there’s hope for them.”
Article by Maj. Cindi King, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force - Afghanistan