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Afghanistan Children

Heroes Remember

Afghanistan Children

I never went outside the wire. However, I was able to see a positive effect through the parents or the brothers, cousins, uncles. If we had a child come in, we had a lot of children that were part of, we had to care for, and you could see by the interaction we had with these male members. At first they were afraid of us, didn’t want to touch us, didn’t want to talk to us, then when they realized that we weren’t there to harm their children because the Taliban tell them that we’re there to kill all the children, that the white people are not nice people. Then they realize that we’re actually taking care of them. We’re giving the best that we can for their child. You can see it in their faces. They tell us that, that I can’t wait to go back to my village. I can’t wait to tell them that women took care of my child who nursed my child back to health. That women can actually do something. We did have a lot of male nurses with us, but they saw it as something completely different than what they see in their country. And they would shake our hands and that’s something that doesn’t happen in Afghanistan, but they noticed that other people were shaking our hands, like males to women. So they would shake our hands and thank us. They’d realize that was our way of communicating with one another. They mimicked a lot of our things. It was cute, some of it was. Some of it was, oh, wow, maybe I’m making a change, maybe that little child who got hurt who remembers seeing me or another nurse take care of them or a doctor will think somewhere down the line that I can do whatever I want to do. I can be whatever I want to be.

Ms. Streppa describes the positive impact the Medical Corps had on the parents of Afghanistan children she treated, and expresses her hopes for the future of these children.

Joanna Streppa

Ms. Streppa was born in Montreal. She joined the Canadian Forces in 1989 as a non-commissioned member and trained as a Naval Signaller. From 1990 - 1997 she was employed in the Halifax area with the exception of a two year tour at the National Defense Headquarters in Ottawa. After obtaining her Nursing degree from Dalhousie University, Ms. Streppa received her Officer Commission, specializing in Critical Care, and in 2004 was promoted to rank of Lieutenant. In February 2006, she accepted a deployment to Afghanistan/Kandahar and was employed as a Staff Officer within the Canadian Forces Health Services Group Headquarters upon her return.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
February 10, 2008
Person Interviewed:
Joanna Streppa
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Canadian Forces Medical Corps
1st Lieutenant
Medical Personnel

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