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Dynamic Chiropractic – January 29, 1996, Vol. 14, Issue 03

Treating the Troops in Eucador

By Editorial Staff
In late January 1995, the centuries' old border conflict between Ecuador and Peru took a lamentable and violent turn, resulting in intensive jungle combat deep in the Amazon foothills. Hundreds of Peruvian soldiers lost their lives as the Ecuadorans defended their homeland. Dozens of Ecuadoran soldiers perished in the violence.

Dr. James R. Peterson, DC, initiated voluntary service to aid the armed forces at the beginning of the conflict, treating foot soldiers and pilots over a 21-day period from Feb. 4 to March 24, 1995. Ramon Zambrano, DC, of Guayaquil, also volunteered his services on 11 of these occasions, 10 of which involved working with Dr. Peterson. The treatment sorties included border outposts, front line defense posts, covert jungle locales, and military hospitals and bases. In all, the two DCs gave approximately 3,200 adjustments.

Dr. Peterson reports that when he offered to volunteer his services, the military hospital's chief medical officer, while agreeing to allow the military personnel to be treated, was dubious about using chiropractors, believing that the chiropractic care would be useless and painful. But when Dr. Peterson returned from the front lines, the medical officer was so impressed by the chiropractors, that he ordered the medical staff to receive adjustment to compensate for their stress. The chief medical officer offered Dr. Peterson remuneration if he would stay, but Dr. Peterson refused on the grounds that he and Dr. Zambrano were working on a voluntary humanitarian level and to accept payment was not compatible with that mission.

On the days the DCs weren't forging into the jungles, they did keep normal office hours and treated high ranking officials. They state that the fine relationship established during the conflict continues today.

On Aug. 12, 1995, Dr. Peterson was the honored guest of the armed forces of Ecuador at Fort Huancavilca in Guayaquil. In a ceremony of high ranking officials and veterans of the recent border conflict with Peru, Colonel Rene Tapia presented a plaque of appreciation for his valiant collaboration during that conflict. The ceremony was followed by a fiesta and dance at the officers club.

Editor's note: If you're interested in the uncommon variety of vacations (i.e., working), Dr. Peterson reports that the Ecuadoran military has expressed interest in hosting DCs who would like to treat their military personnel. You may write Dr. Peterson at: Bioclinica Niehans, Balsamos 117 y V.E. Estrada, Guayaquil, Ecuador. Tele: 247 875; fax: 380503.

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