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US soldiers provide medical aid to young Afghan girl

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U.S. Army Spc. Jeffrey McKnight, combat medic, 102nd Sapper Company, 7th Engineer Battalion from Allentown, Pa., provided medical aid to a young Afghan girl while on a route clearance patrol halt just south of Combat Outpost Sanchez, Sept. 18.

A five-year-old local national child with an obvious limp approached the U.S patrol. The platoon leader for the patrol, U.S. Army 1st Lt. Jesse Carter from Somerset, Ky., was in a security posture outside of COP Sanchez. This young girl regularly visits the patrol when they clear this particular route. On most occasions, she is happy to receive candy and water from the U.S. soldiers who provide peace and security to her village just south of COP Sanchez.

On this particular day, she was looking for more than treats. While pulling security on the patrol’s outer cordon, Spc. Corie Dunning, a resident of Colton, N.Y., noticed the young girl approaching with a grimacing limp. He asked to see the bottom of her foot. When she slipped off her sandal, he noticed a deep gash big enough to fit a grown mans thumb in. Dunning quickly called for the platoon’s medic. McKnight assessed that the cut was at least a few days old. He cleaned the cut with items from his field kit, treated it with antiseptic and bandaged it up to prevent further infection.

“The cut was deep enough that if it became infected, she could lose her entire foot,” said McKnight.

When McKnight was finished patching her up, she was happy to accept her regular bounty of water and candy with the addition of a few extra clean bandages.

“It felt rewarding to be able to make a positive impact on the lives of these people we fight to protect every day,” said Dunning.

Article by Sgt. 1st Class Juan Delgado, Task Force Red Devils