Medical assets keep Fort Hood soldiers ready during deployment

Posted at 2:35 PM, Nov 01, 2017
and last updated 2018-11-03 15:20:00-04

Psychologists, physical therapists and dentists are an important part of the Army and deploy with soldiers to places like Kuwait.

KXXV's Brooke Bednarz visited the medical assets of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, or Greywolf, in Kuwait and was able to see first hand the vital role they play in keeping Fort Hood soldiers ready during deployments.

Soldier readiness is key in all places at all times and the medical assets of the Greywolf Brigade allow soldiers to be just that: ready and healthy.

Whether soldiers are dealing with injuries from working out or combat, physical therapists are there to help soldiers recover so they are ready to execute their training and missions while in Kuwait.

“Musculoskeletal injuries are the number one, if not very close to the number one, reason that soldiers go to see a medical provider, and that’s our expertise. So, if we are able to rehab these soldiers quickly, we can get them back into the fight, get them returned to duty and maintain that readiness for the brigade,” Cpt. Leah Carreno, the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team physical therapist, said. 

But, physical therapy isn’t the only medical asset vital to keeping soldiers in the fight. 

“I’m a small box on the readiness, but you can’t be ready unless you’ve got all the boxes checked... and dental is one of those boxes,” CPT. Jonathan Shaffer, the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team dentist, said. 

Aside from a yearly dental checkup, Cpt. Shaffer is also available for any toothaches or other issues soldiers might suffer from while deployed. 

“Even though I’m not carrying a weapon, I still have the honor of being out here with the soldiers, taking care of the soldiers in a very personal way, and serving my country,” Cpt. Shaffer added.  

While soldiers put their lives on pause back in the states to serve our country overseas, not all soldiers will return to find their home, their lives the way the left it nine months ago. That’s where the brigade behavioral health psychology team comes into play. 

“Everybody’s aware of a service member redeploying and perhaps martial issues are happening, or perhaps he’s struggling personally, so that way they can be ensured 'hey, let’s link him up with behavioral health services,'” Cpt. Fabia Gomez Salas, the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team psychologist, said. 

As Greywolf troops redeploy home, the behavioral health psychologists make sure they are there for soldiers to turn to.... with one psychologist redeploying early and the other late.  

The Greywolf brigade also has a team of physician assistants who provided aid to soldiers anytime they get sick or require medication. 

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