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Return to Vrlika


By Cpl. Nicolas Girault
First published in
SFOR Informer#113, May 16, 2001

Vrlika - The "Marianne" road climbs Croatian hills on Perucko lake shore, and stretches from Brnaze to the slope where the little town of Vrlika is perched. That is a part of the road used by the 1st General Support Regiment convoy the morning of May 8 to reach the Vrlika Psychiatric Hospital. It comprises 155 patients, 7 to 60 years of age.
Just after their arrival, the 43rd Squadron soldiers unloaded the truck and placed the gifts in the hospital sports room.
At the origin of this donation, Maj. Claire Harill and Lt. Col. Andy Cowling organised a collection in the headquarters of the regiment based in Gutersloch, Germany. Ten thousand DM was collected; it allowed them to buy sports and fitness articles for a complete sports room. Those articles were dispatched from Germany to Sipovo. The last part of the operation was performed by the Sipovo CIMIC chief, Lt. Jill Neal.
Already in 1998
Links between the 43rd Squadron and the Verlika establishement is an old story. Ante Turdic, hospital director, underlined that "he is proud to bring together Croatian, Serbian, Montenegrian, and Bosnian patients." It has been the case for a long time.
But during the war, all patients were evacuated to Split. The hospital was damaged by soldiers who occupied it.
In 1998, the 43rd Squadron was based near Split. As the commander of the squadron, Harill decided to build a play ground for the institute children.
Cowling explained that the operation was only a job interupted, because of the squadron departure to Kosovo. And Ante Turdic concluded,"What is more important is the heart behind the gesture, than the materials!"

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: UK
Humanitarian Aid