IW 2008: Operation Smile

Posted by Mike Merritt in Independence Week on

The first of this week’s Independence Week articles shows that the U.S. military isn’t completely defined by pre-emptive strikes against other countries.

Happy News has been reporting for some time now Operation Smile.  The group itself isn’t part of the military, but a non-profit charity that aim to repair cleft lips and palates in children from countries like Philippines, Vietnam, Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea.

The latest news about OS is that they’re teaming up with the USNS Mercy for deployment to Southeast Asia.  They have already performed 350 operations on children from the four countries listed above, and have recently moved on to Nha Trang, Vietnam.  The ship’s partnership with OS is a small portion of their bigger 2008 Summer Deployment, where they perform operations around the world for those in need.

It makes me very happy to know that despite all the bad press the military has gotten in recent years that it is doing some good in the world.  It is doing more things like shows that the U.S. really isn’t that bad of a country as some might think.  So kudos to the USNS Mercy and ships/crews like it who are spreading some goodwill to those in need!  People like you are what Independence Week is about.

To read about the continuing mission of the Mercy, hop on over to the blog of her captain Bob Wiley here.

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