My Last Tour: Medical Mission

An Afghani father seeks medical treatment for his daughter
An Afghani father seeks medical treatment for his daughter
TAMPA (2009-06-22) -

Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Rex Temple checked in after returning recently from a six-day mission. As one might expect, the telephones were overloaded because it was Father's Day. But, he managed to share a little bit about what he's been up to.

When Temple left on the medical mission, he was armed not only with a weapon but with a camera to document the military's work.

The convoy of trucks and armored vehicles traveled 215 miles over unpaved roads and through mountainous passes.

Over the six days, the U.S. and Afghan soldiers stopped in three villages providing treatment and medicine to 1,500 people.

Temple took some compelling photos one of a father holding his little girl - her nose noticeably rotting off because of a disease spread by sand flies. Another photograph shows a man pushing a wheelbarrow. It was the only transport he had to bring his mother for medical care.

Temple also came armed with small gifts. He handed out ball point pens and was quickly mobbed by countless children.

"I found out pens are a sign of education for them," Temple said. "That kind of explains why when we handed out pens they just wanted, more and more and more."

The convoy also delivered 98 tons of medical supplies to the Afghan National Army's forward bases and returned safely despite ambushes and threats from explosive devises.

WUSF is following Temple during his year-long deployment to Afghanistan. You can see photos from his recent mission and read the details on Temple's blog: Afghanistan: My Last Tour.

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