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Operation Empower Health helping thousands from near and far

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Operation Empower Health caring for thousands of those in need (Credit:Robert Catanese)

With just two days left in Operation Empower Health, the military operation has helped thousands of residents in need of medical, dental, vision and veterinarian care.

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Magnet of the 165th Airlift Wing is the mission officer in charge.

“There has been a huge impact on the community in our four different locations,” said Magnet.

So far, Magnet says the operation has been a success.

“Since last night we have seen 4,764 total patients. Our forecast is about 8,000 with a total of 14,279 procedures totaling about $2.8 million,” he said.

Service members from every branch of the military from all over the nation are doing their part to help those in need getting medical attention, some coming from as far as Orlando and Jacksonville, Fla.

Major John Obrien is with the Delaware Air National Guard.

“To give back to the folks in our community really is special and it’s an amazing mission,” he said.

Officials said dental and vision care seem to be the busiest patient needs.

“A lot of these members have not received any dental care or medical services for years,” said Chief Navy Corpsman Jennifer Mantanoa.

More than 1,000 pairs of eyeglasses have been made so far with two days left in the event.

Staff Sergeant Peter Simon came in from Minnesota.

“It's such an honor to be here and to see just one person put on a pair of glasses and watch their face light up,” he said.

Major Rena Barron is the assistant officer in charge stationed here in Savannah. She says, it’s about giving back to her community.

“Making sure that everything is successful and that these service men and women can take this back and give to their community,” said Barron.

The operation will wind down this Friday. There is still time to get the help you need at four different locations, but officials say it best to arrive early.

The hours are from 8 a.m. to 4.p.m. at the following locations.

  • SAVANNAH CIVIC CENTER, 301 W. Oglethorpe Avenue
  • GEORGIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY – ARMSTRONG CAMPUS, University Hall, 11935 Abercorn Street
  • GARDEN CITY RECREATIONAL DEPARTMENT, 160 Priscilla D. Thomas Road
  • SAVANNAH STATE UNIVERSITY, Social Sciences Building, 3219 College Street.