The U.S. Army Reserve’s 7235th Medical Support Unitin partnership with Texas A&M University Colonias Program and Communities in School,kicked off its Initiative Readiness Training (IRT) at William Jefferson Clinton Elementary in La Joya ISD from June16-20. This training, offered no-cost health care services to more than 500 individuals living in Hidalgo County.

“I am extremely impressed with all the volunteers and the support we have in this community, this mission is to make the world a better place the more we serve the more we do.” Stated Lieutenant Colonel Commander Arve Alexander Wikstrom 7235thMedical Support Unit (MSU).

Medical services provided included general exams, school exams and physicals, and general nutrition counseling. Dental services provided included exams and extractions. Optical services include exams and prescriptions. The clinics opened from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and all walk-ins were welcomed. Doctors, Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Dentists, and Optometrists were available to provide these medical services on site.

“This is a result of a partnership between the Army Reserve, Army North and Texas A&M University with an agreement to provide essential services to colonias along the border in the United States as training to help us prepare for our missions”, stated Brigadier General John B. Hashem Deputy Commanding General – Support, United States Army North (Fifth Army).

As the Army Reserve transitions from a rotational deployment model to an expeditionary deployment model, it requires a force that can rapidly respond to the nation’s mobilization needs. In today’s changing environment, Army Reserve units must remain well-manned, equipped and trained at all times in order to be ready to deploy, enable and fight in days and weeks, not months and years.

“This has nothing to do with the National Guard on the border, or all that is going on right now,” said Hashem “it’s really important to mention that, this is entirely separate, we’ve done these trainings for the last couple of years in communities along the southwest border in Texas and we will continue to do them. This is one of the ways we train and keep our skills going to be able to perform defense support for civil authorities when there is no disaster.”

These initiatives also provide opportunities for local administrative and medical soldiers to work side-by-side with the event’s subject-matter experts in order to increase their own job skills and personal readiness.


La Joya ISD is extremely thankful to have been selected in this training effort. Thank you to La Joya ISD for taking part in these special trainings for the Army Reserve and for our LJISD Staff while providing all of these services at no cost to our community.