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Medical Outreach

Heroes Remember

Sometimes what’s called a village medical outreach, we call it VMO. There are certain dates that we would set on the calendar. We would go out to maybe a known location where potentially there were people maybe aiding enemy and we would host this village medical outreach in hopes that people would come. They don’t have anything so we show up in vehicles and we have medicine and water and food or whatever. And they come in and we give out pencils, soccer balls, whatever, try and attract kids and hoping at the same time we gather some sort of intelligence at the same time. So lots of kids. People with massive tumours, very unique things and these people they are just hoping that you can do something. And there was one little girl sticks out in mind. She had this massive tumour on her leg, it was gangrenous, and it was very foul. We had certain money or certain cases that we could choose a child in some sense and get them extended care. This one girl we selected her and she was able to go to Pakistan and get an amputation and have that dealt with. That was a unique experience to do that. And then people, they came out of the woodwork. You could be driving down this dirt road, it appears like no one is around and you stop the vehicles for a minute, get out and have a look around and people come out of the woodwork. Everywhere, you don’t even know where they came from within minutes. And then they see the blonde hair. My hair was longer out of the back of my helmet and they come over and just look. So what do you have? So you hand them a bottle of water or whatever you have and they point to things, band aids or whatever but it’s very interesting how they can sense that our presence is there and the young boys were the funniest. They would be around the age of 10 to 13, to reach out and shake my hand. They would run away like oh my god. It’s not for a woman to be a soldier. I stuck out like a sore thumb there, big time. To have the boys run around, like oh my god I just shook her hand. You could tell, you know, we couldn’t communicate that very well but simple human interaction you can see they were just floored. And then another one, oh my goodness! Now at times this compromised our patrol if we were out doing something of a different nature that day. Having the cluster of people I do recall several times where I became a hindrance than a help because the mobs of people that would kind of gather around.

While on duty, Army Medic Larter provides details of the daily routine and type of interaction and support given to the villagers

Vanessa Larter

Ms. Vanessa Larter was born April 17, 1982 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. After graduating from high school Vanessa studied at UPEI and later made the choice to join the military as a medical technician. Her basic training took her to Gagetown, N,B, Camp Borden, Ontario for her first medical course, BC for paramedic school and then finally to settle with his first job in Edmonton, Alberta. She joined with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry with occupation of army medic. Along with In-Canada service Vanessa had two deployments to Afghanistan, 2006 and 2008. With a sixteen year career Vanessa is still in the military and resides at Camp Borden as a physician assistant holding rank of sergeant. Vanessa has great pride for her military service. She now resides in Ontario with her three children.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
October 27, 2018
Person Interviewed:
Vanessa Larter
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI)
Army medic

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