U.S. military helps people in need in the Americas

The little girl from Honduras was scared to go to school because classmates bullied her over the tumor growing on her nose. That changed after Dr. Lesley Hawley, a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy, removed the growth in a 20-minute surgery earlier this year.

Hawley was in Honduras as part of a three-month U.S. humanitarian mission called Continuing Promise that took U.S. military and embassy staff also to Guatemala and Colombia. “After the surgery, we pulled out a phone and set it on selfie-mode so she could see herself,” Hawley said. “That smile was worth the whole trip.”

In each of the three countries, U.S. officials joined forces with their military and medical counterparts and countless volunteers from local and international organizations. Together they provided medical, dental and optometry services. Nearly 24,000 patients were treated in the three countries. Here’s a look at some of the help given as part of Continuing Promise:

Sailor weighing child standing on scale (U.S. Navy/Shamira Purifoy)
More than 2,000 children received treatment during the three-month mission, including this girl in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala. (U.S. Navy/Shamira Purifoy)


People picking up trash on beach (U.S. Navy/Shamira Purifoy)
Military members, local government officials and volunteers help clean up a beach during a stop in Trujillo, Honduras. (U.S. Navy/Shamira Purifoy)


Sailor cleaning teeth of patient (U.S. Navy/Shamira Purifoy)
Military dental professionals helped nearly 4,000 people, including this patient in Trujillo. (U.S. Navy/Shamira Purifoy)


Military members painting new picnic table (U.S. Embassy Bogota)
U.S. military construction personnel spruced up facilities. (U.S. Embassy Bogota)


Sailor high-fiving child as others look on (U.S. Embassy Bogota)
Military members participated in some two dozen community projects, and some were rewarded with high-fives, like this Navy service member in Colombia. (U.S. Embassy Bogota)


Eye exam being performed by sailor on patient (U.S. Navy/ Brittney Cannady)
More than 1,600 people received eye care, including this woman in Puerto Barrios. (U.S. Navy/ Brittney Cannady)