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Air National Guard Members from Missouri Assist OLS

Air National Guard members, from left to right, are Sgt. Kevin Peters; Senior Airman Brianna Moe; Master Sergeant Renee Ruston and Lt. Col. Jason Horn, were among the 37 service men and women during Operation Lone Star. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

by Tony Vindell/LFN

A Texas-based program received a helping hand from members of the armed forces from the Show Me State.

Called Operation Lone Star, the week-long program that provides a series of health care services to residents from South Texas counties like Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr and Webb counties ended Friday.

Hundreds of residents took advantage of the program and some of them said they could not be able to afford otherwise.

But the success of the program largely depended on a group of service men and women from the Air National Guard of St. Joseph, Mo.

Lt. Col. Jason Horn, who is in charge of the group, said they are glad to participate in such an endeavor.

“This is our second year down here,” he said during the second day of the week-long program. “We will be here until Friday.”

Horn said he brought a contingent of 37 air men and women from the Air National Guard located at Rosecrans Memorial Airport.

He said all the members here work in the medical field with the ANG.

Renee Ruston, a master sergeant, said this is her second time in the Rio Grande Valley.

“It’s great to be here again,” she said. “But it’s surprising that we have not seen that many children this time.”

OLS is a program that provides a number of health care related services to infants, children and adults.

Now in its 20th year, the program gives physicals, child immunizations, hearing and visual exams to anybody, regardless of their economic or social backgrounds.

Jose and Lupita Hernandez said they brought their grandson for the free health screenings.

“This is something really needed here,” she said. “There are people who can’t afford to go see a doctor, let alone get all the other services they provide.”

Besides the Air National Guard, dozens of people from such organizations like South Texas Vocational Tech, Southern Career and Valley Grande Institutes and Texas A&M University volunteered their services during the event.

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