LOS ANGELES –
Dozens of Army Reserve medical Soldiers from the 7214th Medical Support Unit participated in Care Harbor, a free clinic event, in Los Angeles on Nov. 17 and 18.
The Soldiers provided their medical expertise to Care Harbor, which provides a range of services from dental and vision to women’s health, among others.
“We decided that we wanted to volunteer at Care Harbor as a unit, and I hope we continue to do so every year from now on,” said Capt. Gregory Empey, who is an optometrist in the Army, as well as a clinical research scientist in his civilian career. “I’m 52 years old, I joined three years ago on an age waiver. I won’t be on the front lines at my age, but at least I can support our troops and my community, at events like this, through medical services.”
Soldiers who weren’t directly interacting with patients were able to provide much-needed help behind the scenes, as well.
Army Reserve Pvt. Claude Daniel, a dental technician, helped sterilize dental instruments after being used and before being put back into service. Daniel said that he is proud of everyone who is helping here and the leadership that allowed their participation.
“It feels pretty great to be a part of this,” Daniel said. “I think we should do this more often.”
The Army Reserve can leverage many civilian professionals, like dentists, who are able to bring their expertise not only to the Army but to community at events such as this.
“I have a practice not far from here in Brea,” said Lt. Col. Chris Chung, a dentist, “It’s such a pleasure to be here, and it reminds me of why we are in dentistry, why we are in the military — to help people and to serve the community.
Many of the volunteers at Care Harbor are students honing their craft. Army Reserve Soldiers, many who have perfected their skills in both military and civilian capacities, are able to offer guidance.
“It’s been an honor working with Capt. Grey,” said Brianne Wong, a student at Western University, “talking with him, watching him interact with the patients. It has been a solid experience and has given me so much more motivation.”