WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., –
In the middle of the 2009 - 2010 white winter, while Airmen were clearing the powdery streets of Whiteman, a 509th Medical Group Airman was deployed to sunny Soto Cano Air Force Base, Honduras.
"It was rough having to miss out on all the cold weather this past winter," said Tech. Sgt. Kenneth Hasty, 509th MDG NCO in Charge of Pediatrics. "I had to endure the 80 degree days in Honduras."
Sergeant Hasty left Whiteman for Soto Cano Aug. 8, 2009. He provided medical care to approximately 600 Army and Air Force service members and local nationals, but his duties didn't end there.
"I had the opportunity to go to neighboring countries for humanitarian missions," he said.
The sergeant said he was fortunate enough to find new experiences in El Salvador and Haiti.
Sergeant Hasty and his team were able to see more than 1,500 patients who live in the mountains of El Salvador and don't receive regular medical care.
"Surprisingly, they were fairly healthy people," he said. "Most of their problems surrounded their questionable water sources which led to stomach and intestinal issues. There were also a lot of headaches and muscle pains."
Sergeant Hasty received orders to provide medical and surgical care to the earthquake victims in Haiti, Jan. 15, 2010. By early morning of Jan. 18, 2010, he had landed at Port Au Prince Airport.
His medical mobile team set up their facility at Killick Haitian Coast Guard Base, eight miles from the airport.
"It involved a lot of equipment transport through the demolished streets of Port Au Prince," Sergeant Hasty said.
This inconvenience didn't stop the mission. Sergeant Hasty's mobile medical team served more than 3,000 Haitian patients.
"I work in a clinic here, and we refer all critical injuries to the ER," Sergeant Hasty said, referring to his Whiteman duties. "In Haiti we were the ER, and dealt with a variety of critical injuries."
He said some conditions were the most critical he had ever seen. Around 600 were wounded so badly they that had to be air-lifted to the USS Comfort.
"I witnessed 50 to 60 femur fractures during my first three days in Haiti," he said. "There were massive cuts from falling tin roofs and soft-tissue injuries from falling concrete."
Sergeant Hasty said that the humanitarian efforts to El Salvador and Haiti were rewarding and unique experiences.
"It was an awesome experience helping out so many people in such a short period and just knowing we were able to make a positive impact on all these people's lives." Sergeant Hasty said.