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185th Refueling Wing's Medical Mission in Puerto Rico

Senior Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot

The Air National Guard 185th Refueling Wing based in Sioux City recently provided medical care to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. 

Senior Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot serves as a Public Affairs Superintendent.  He traveled to Puerto Rico to document the mission.

Lance Cpl. Faeth Webb USMC,  Capt. Maria Swatski Delaware Army NG,  Sgt. Andy Martinez USMC,  Senior Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot Iowa Air NG
Credit 185th Refueling Wing
Innovative Readiness Training

“We started at the end of April, home by the 8th of May.  It involved teams primarily from the medical clinic.  Same branch of service but it was the active-duty reserve components and all branches of service.  It was the eye and dental professionals.  They were providing no-cost care for people in Puerto Rico, but the program is nationwide to areas that are underserved. "

              "We had a little over 50 people.  The 185th was the lead group taking part, overseeing the actions of more than 500 people total.  We also spread out to six different locations in Puerto Rico.  It was a much needed-service to provide no-cost cost.  It was amazing to see the attitudes to seeing the people getting the care in rural areas and metro areas as well.” 

While in Puerto Rico De Groot interviewed Master Sgt. Adam Wright in Puerto Rico.  Wright works full time as a Fire Fighter EMT in Sioux City and is a 20-year veteran of the Air Force.  Wright also took part in the Innovative Readiness Training Program. 

Credit Senior Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot
Master Sgt. Adam Wright
Master Sgt. Adam Wright

“It’s very busy.  It’s one patient after another, clean up, next patient.  It’s from the beginning of the day to the end of the day.  We have patients waiting at the door at the beginning of the day.  People are here it’s a needed resources for them.  I really enjoy the program.  We can dig deeper in our career fields.  It’s a great community outreach program.  We’re getting hugs at the end of the day.  Kids get glasses.  They can see.  It’s close to the heart so it’s pretty good.”

The 185th Refueling Wing is also taking part in another mission in Puerto Rico.  Civil engineers with the unit are working to remodel a school for disabled children.

Credit Senior Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot
185th Refueling Wing in Puerto Rico, May 2019

Credit Senior Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot
Military Mission in Puerto Rico

For more information from the 185th Refueling Wing's recent mission check out these links:



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