AL-ASAD, Iraq --
She sits at her desk smiling, awed someone has chosen to introduce her compassion to the rest of the world.
With kindness in her eyes, she explains a motivational story; a motto she lives by.
“There was a boy walking along the seashore, tossing stranded starfish into the ocean. A man walks up and tells him, ‘there are thousands of stranded starfish out here; you can’t possibly make a difference.’ The boy reaches down and tosses another one back into the sea and says, ‘I made a difference to that one.’”
“I help people out of genuine love and consideration,” she says.
For the Marines of Marine Wing Support Squadron 274, assigned to 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward), she is a naval doctor who provides health services when they’re ill or injured. To the children living in the small Iraqi villages surrounding Al Asad Air Base, she is a lifesaver and a friend.
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Christina M. Williams, the medical officer for MWSS-274, spends her days working squadron sick-call and supervising the corpsmen who accompany Marines on mounted security patrols to the neighboring villages.
As a result of the patrols, Williams, a Tulsa, Okla., native, discovered an increasing need for healthcare, medication and fresh water to the area.
“There are just not enough medical personnel and resources to go around,” said Williams. “Iraq is trying and we want to assist in their efforts.”
Based on the current situation of the area, Williams and other medical personnel have developed future plans to provide a larger scheme of medical attention for the local Iraqis.
Many of the health issues could be addressed by providing a clean water source, added Williams.
“Many people drink from the wadi, oasis or contaminated wells, leading to gastrointestinal, skin and other diseases,” said Williams. “There is a project underway to construct a well for them.”
Helping to aid struggling communities has been a consistent theme in Williams’ life. She played an integral part in outreach missions in Guyana, South America, Haiti and Kenya before joining the Navy.
The assistance provided in these areas included building churches and clinics that supported medical, dental and immunization programs, as well as initiating water purification systems to allow for clean water consumption.
“She is a caring person,” said Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Deloy A. Shaw, an independent duty corpsmen with MWSS-274, currently deployed with Williams for the second time. “She’s very thorough and relentless when it comes to medicine. She goes above and beyond her call of duty to ensure not only the Marines are taken care of, but also their families when we’re in the rear.”
Williams attributes her motivation to seeing a need and striving to meet that need.
“When we help these children attain good health, we’re building a stronger community and helping them become healthier adults,” said Williams. “It will foster a good relationship between them and the U.S. Military for the future.”