The Vermillion Rotary Club held its weekly meeting Tuesday, May 2 at the Neuharth Center on the USD campus.
President Mercy Hobbs opened the meeting and Rev. Ed Nesselhuf gave the invocation. Two guests were introduced. They were Susan Jones and Amy Hultgren. A bike helmet was auctioned to support and raise awareness of Bike Helmet Day for second graders in Vermillion where each second grader will receive a free bike helmet.
Rotarian Tim Tracy introduced Dr. Roy Martinsen and his wife Betsy. Dr. Martinsen gave the program for the day titled "Medicine In Iraq." Dr. Martinsen has served two tours in Iraq as a doctor. He used a PowerPoint presentation of photographs to illustrate his latest tour.
He and fellow soldiers flew by chartered plane to Kuwait and then was airlifted into Iraq. In one photo he is shown holding a sign proclaiming "652 miles to Wall Drug." He lived and worked in a heavily fortified compound. Dr. Mortinsen said it was not uncommon to have at least one mortar attack per day. His place of work was called Lava Clinic. He and his fellow doctors and medics made it a point to see anybody who needed help.
They saw many heat casualties especially among recent arrivals and treated many from the effects of several interesting bugs. They also had to deal with many traumas from gunshots, mortar attacks, car bombs, IEDs and burns. They were also called upon from time to time to treat detainees from U.S. forces, as well as from the Iraqi Army. Battle trauma or battle fatigue were also common but hard to detect.
With regard to civilian health care he stated that those who had money could get medical care on the civilian side. The poor, however, could not afford it. Once word got out that treatment was available to civilians at the base, many civilians began showing up at the main gate. The medical team ended up stationing medics at the gate on a 24-hour basis to do triage so people who really needed treatment could get it.
Dr. Martinsen also showed pictures of various places they were able to visit such as the Green Zone, palaces and other points of interest. He also stated that the Iraqi citizens they met were very friendly and helpful.
During the question and answer session following his presentation he made the following personal observations. He doesn't know if Iraq will ever be a stable democracy because of the many religious and political factions and other values, which enter the equation. He also stated that despite all the counseling by doctors and clergy there is still a great need for psychiatrists to work with the troops.
Auxiliary elects new officers
The regular meeting of the Ladies Auxiliary to Clay Post #3061 was held Tuesday evening, April 18 with President Delores Gregg presiding. Roll call of officers was taken and recorded. Chaplain Opal Smith offered the opening prayer. Minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.
Treasurer's report was accepted as printed. Correspondence included thank you letters from the St. Agnes third graders for the rulers we presented to them; invitation to the Sioux Valley Care Center's Volunteer Appreciation Open House on Tuesday, April 25; thank you and a monetary gift from Marty Kyte family for lunch we served after the prayer service; and a request for set of flags for the W.H. Over Museum.
Committee reports were on cancer insurance, membership, funeral, get well and sympathy cards mailed, bingo playing at the Vermillion Care Center, hospital equipment on loan, hospice, and road to recovery. Our president asked for volunteer workers for Wednesdays in May for the Civic Council.
The charter was dropped for Marty Kyte, who passed away March 23.
Officers for the ensuing year are: President Delores Gregg; senior vice president, Donna Schafer; junior vice president, Dorothy Lane; treasurer, Marlene Amundsen; chaplain, Opal Smith; conductress, Marjorie Christensen; guard, Erna Carlson; three-year trustee, Opal Smith.
Motion made/seconded to order a 5'x8' American flag through Tim Johnson's office for the W.H. Over Museum.
Delegates and alternates for the state convention were recorded and motion/seconded to pay registration fees for all attending the convention. Motion/seconded to give past state president a monetary love token. Audit report for past three months was approved as read.
Meeting adjourned to reopen on May 16.