PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, Guatemala (NNS) -- U.S. Army Soldiers and civilian volunteers from 'World Vets,' currently embarked on board the multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), brought veterinary assistance to the people of Guatemala Sept 4-13.
Continuing Promise 2010 (CP10) veterinary mission's goal is to improve the Guatemalan people's quality of life while serving as ambassadors for the United States.
Capt. Rebecca Carden, a veterinarian from South Plains Veterinary Services, Fort Sam Houston, emphasizes the importance of eliminating diseases capable of being transmitted between humans and animals.
"The Continuing Promise 2010 mission is to improve people's outlook and way of life, and improving their food animals is another way of doing that," said Carden. "The Continuing Promise 2010 mission shows a compassionate side of the military, a mission like this helps develop relationships internationally."
Elsa and Kirsten Swenson, sisters participating in the mission, view their participation as a chance to see the world and help those who live in it.
"We wanted to travel internationally together, and the Continuing Promise mission provided the opportunity at the right time," said Elsa Swenson.
"I think it's nice we can provide services for people," said Kirsten Swenson.
"We're improving animals' lives and health, educating farmers and improving public health by reducing the risk of transmissible diseases such as rabies and parasites in food animals," said Elsa Swenson.
Dr. Jenny McDougle, a veterinarian, sees the Continuing Promise mission as a unique opportunity to learn and teach.
"It gives us [veterinary professionals] a chance to see other country's level of veterinary care, vaccines, and parasite and infectious disease prevention," said McDougle.
CP10 is a humanitarian civic assistance (HCA) mission. The assigned medical and engineering staff embarked on board Iwo Jima will work with partner nation's teams to provide medical, dental, veterinary, and engineering assistance to eight different nations to improve mutual understanding of current medical issues.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusns/.