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Texas State partnership with Chilean Military

Chilean Military Air Force Lt. Col. Alger Rodo, a specialist in colorectal surgery, and Maj. Raul Berrios, a thoracic surgeon discuss with State Guard Capt. Wood, medical brigade, triage procedures at Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High School. The surgeons participate in an international exchange program between the State of Texas and the Republic of Chile during Operation Lone Star held at Pharr, Texas, July 29, 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Elizabeth Gilbert)

Chilean Military Air Force Lt. Col. Alger Rodo, a specialist in colorectal surgery, and Maj. Raul Berrios, a thoracic surgeon discuss with State Guard Capt. Wood, medical brigade, triage procedures at Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High School. The surgeons participate in an international exchange program between the State of Texas and the Republic of Chile during Operation Lone Star held at Pharr, Texas, July 29, 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Elizabeth Gilbert)

SAN JUAN, Texas, July 29, 2009 -- Once again, Operation Lone Star has enticed international medical participants from Czech RepublicĀ and Chile.

The Chilean Military sent two doctors, Air Force Lt. Col. Alger Rodo, a specialist in colorectal surgery, and Maj. Raul Berrios, a thoracic surgeon. They are both part of an international exchange program between the State of Texas and the Republic of Chile.

"It is a great experience for me," said Berrios. "Everything is volunteer and there are so many services provided to the customers. They have much gratitude and thank us as we walk by them."

Due to the licensing issues with international doctors, the Chilean surgeons observe and assist on a limited participation basis here at Operation Lone Star.

Berrios hopes to come back next year as long as the Chilean Military continues to promote the exchange program with the National Guard Bureau as one of their State funded programs, said Army Sgt. 1st Class Javier Garcia, escort for Berrios.

"Language is not a barrier," concluded Berrios, "70 to 80 percent are spanish speaking only and I fit right in."