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NEWS | Aug. 17, 2012

Mongolia: Alaska Army National Guard medic gives back to local community during Khaan Quest

By Sgt. Edward Eagerton, U.S. Army 134th Public Affairs Detachment

ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia - At a medical clinic set up in an elementary school in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Army Pfc. Chantal Miller, is one of many Alaska Army National Guard Soldiers who have traveled to this vast country to take part in Khaan Quest 12.

Miller and other multi-national service members were at the school conducting a Medical Humanitarian Civic Action Outreach Project. The outreach portion of Khaan Quest was designed to provide an exchange of medical services and techniques between U.S. and Mongolian medical teams while providing medical care to underserved communities.

Miller, a medic with the Alaska Army Guard's Medical Detachment, completed her sophomore year at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and has applied to finish her pre-medical degree at Columbia University in her pursuit of becoming a trauma surgeon.

Afterward, her plan is to continue her education in the Army doctor program.

She shared these aspirations with Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh during his visit to the medical clinic. McHugh toured the clinic, met with the multi-national medical team and greeted the Mongolian people there for treatment.

"They [the Army] have one of the best trauma programs," remarked Miller, "so I'm really looking forward to that. I'd like to be a trauma surgeon in the Army because they give back."

Giving back is a phrase that many have used to describe Miller. When she returned from her training as an Army medic, she applied for a job with the Alaska National Guard Honor Guard.

"We honor the veterans," Miller explained. "We are the firing party at the service, we fold the flag, present it to the next of kin and serve as the, color guard. It's such an honorable job to have. It is the family's last view of the military."

At the medical clinic in Ulaanbaatar, she explained her desire to help the people of the community.

"I think it's a great thing - what we do here," Miller said. "It's just great that we can help them out. Whether it's a tooth that needs to be pulled or abdominal pain, they're getting really good care here. I know it means a lot to them, and it also means a lot to us. It's a good feeling too."

Khaan Quest is a regularly scheduled, multinational exercise sponsored by the U.S. Army, Pacific and hosted annually by the Mongolian Armed Forces. Khaan Quest 12 is the latest in a continuing series of exercises designed to promote regional peace and security. This exercise marks the tenth anniversary of this regionally significant training event.