The Civil Affairs mission is to support the commander’s relationship with the community, to identify community needs, and to carry out the U.S and Coalition Partner’s goals of reconstruction and rehabilitation for the people of Iraq.
Since July 2005, over 3,800 wheelchairs have been distributed in Iraq. The wheelchairs are being distributed to the joint special Task Force, individual Iraqi citizens, Iraqi police officers and hospitals, for amputees and many more people. The wheelchairs are being distributed in and around Baghdad, and in the Mosul and Al Anbar provinces of Iraq.
“We estimate the overall need for wheelchairs in Iraq is conservatively 2% of the population; 500,000 wheelchairs,” Stated Col. Randy Hart. “This may be a modest estimate considering that Iraq was at war for many years with Iran. Two of the main warfare’s conducted by both sides were artillery attacks and mines; both create high limb casualties”.
Although there has already been a remarkable effort to distribute wheelchairs in Iraq, Col. Randy Hart and his 322 Civil Affairs Brigade unit have requested an immediate need for an additional 20,000 wheelchairs. The need for wheelchairs in Iraq is urgent and growing by the second. These wheelchairs will affect not only the people who receive them, but also their families, friends and the communities that support them.
“This significant mission cannot be taken lightly,” said Free Wheelchair Mission President and Founder Don Schoendorfer, 56. “The wheelchairs are not only lifting the Iraqi poor off the ground physically, but spiritually and emotionally as well.”
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