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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Military outreach, medical care in Iraq

Stationed in Iraq, ELCA military chaplain Glenn Palmer horses around with youth on their way to school. They’d attended a medical clinic his unit helped provide to Iraqi families.

“There is a lot of this kind of outreach going on that doesn’t always get reported amid all the very real horrors of the war here,” Palmer said. “Once every two weeks or so we pick a spot and hold an unannounced (for security reasons) three- to four-hour free medical clinic. The word spreads quickly. We usually hold one near a school so kids can be seen also.”

His role? “I go out to the clinic with the doctor to hand out free Beanie Babies, clothes, soccer balls, school supplies and kids’vitamins that folks from back in the States send.” Palmer said the clinics are supported by the Women of the ELCA New England Synod and Operation Paperback, a nonprofit group that collects books for the troops.


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