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Nov-30-2006 00:33printcommentsVideo

Independence Hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan Opens with Many Needs (VIDEO)

"We're finally getting to fruition on this project which is making a 450-bed hospital usable again." This story was originally published by this agency November 30th, 2006. Salem-News was the first local agency to send a reporter to Afghanistan.

photo: Colonel Jim Lyman with a brand new citizen of Kabul.
Colonel Jim Lyman with a brand new citizen of Kabul.
Photo by: Tim King

(KABUL, Afghanistan) - A shipment of 300 gallons of Miller paint from the U.S. marked the beginning of a hospital restoration project in Kabul, Afghanistan this year. The project is already starting to reopen parts of the facility, and as Tim King reports, the time donated by U.S. troops is without question, winning the hearts and minds of the people in this war-torn city.

U.S. troops in Afghanistan have taken on a number of projects with their spare time, and one that is close to the hearts of many is the restoration of Independence Hospital in downtown Kabul.

Master Sgt. Don Weber of the Oregon Guard says the name is consistent with the mission of the people stationed here, "Over here there's twenty percent of the kids die before they're five years old."

Colonel Jim Lyman of the Kabul Military Training Center said, "The Afghanistan healthcare and hospitals need all the help that they can get,” every bit of assistance goes a long way amid Kabul's poverty and strained infrastructure.

Master Sgt Don Weber added, “They told me that in their maternity center they've had times when they were so busy they've had women giving birth two to a bed."

The hospital is a place where people of all ages seek medical care, and one of the few locations where women give birth with the assistance of doctors and midwives.

Oregon National Guard soldiers like Major Kimberly Evers were joined by members of the Air Force and Navy who all chose to help out on a day when many relax.

Major Kimberly Evers said, "We don't get to see the children very often and we want to make an impact and we want to make a difference."

“Even though it's our day off and we are supposed to be relaxing, I wanted to spend my day on something with a purpose and this definitely has great purpose," Lisa Quilas said.

Oregon Guard Major Arnold Strong and other officers worked side by side with enlisted personnel in cleaning and renovating the hospital's neo-natal facility.

"We're finally getting to fruition on this project which is making a 450-bed hospital usable again."

By the end of the afternoon, visible improvements were taking shape. It was clear that the intensity of these soldiers, sailors and airmen was making a difference.

Salma Seraj, of Tomorrow's Women and Children of Afghanistan (TWCA) pointed out that their hospital can use almost everything. “Many American hospitals probably have things that would be useful to us, that they don’t need.” Bandages for burn victims and clean sheets would be a good start.

Watch the Video News Report below, direct from Kabul, Afghanistan by Tim King:


Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club.

Serving the community in very real terms, is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 82 writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can write to Tim at this address:

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Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Albert Marnell December 4, 2006 2:34 pm (Pacific time)

It sounds like a kinky place. They need strip Malls to make the place look civilized and Starbucks.

Tim King in Afghanistan December 3, 2006 10:59 pm (Pacific time)

Albert, I couldn't agree more. This place is like a third world prehistoric zone. The saddest part is how nice it is supposed to have been before the Russian invasion. I don't hear much about STD's but there is an interesting thing here that involves close relations between men, particularly on Thursdays, no joke. It all seems to stem from the regard for women. I think LA actually makes the place look tame, though I know what you mean!

Albert Marnell December 2, 2006 4:12 am (Pacific time)

Dear Tim, Now that they know how to make babies (what an accomplishment) maybe someone can teach them about sexually transmitted diseases, birth control and abortion. Hope you are having fun in one of the many places in the world that have gone insane.....kind of like Los Angeles.

Lela December 1, 2006 8:18 pm (Pacific time)

What a story. More people need to see we are really more alike on this planet when it comes to babies and general life!

Amanda December 1, 2006 8:29 am (Pacific time)

A maternity ward? Did I see that right? There's got to be a story behind that too. Aren't women extremely private there? They must have freaked out! Great reporting Tim.

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