Trained to speak Arabic, Sgt. Stoey Stout of the Utah National Guard has come to know the Iraqis as have few other U.S. soldiers in Safwan, Iraq. He sits for hours at a small wooden table, partly shaded by camouflage netting, and listens to the Iraqis' health complaints. Lots of swollen knees from fleeing miles across the desert. Lots of diarrhea from bad water.
He translates their ailments into English, scribbles them down on scraps of yellow paper and hands them back before the Iraqis go to see an Army doctor. In the past few days, however, Stout has been sending all but the most serious cases to Iraqi doctors in the white tents across the camp."We're not going to be here in a couple of days, and they have to get used to seeing their own doctors," said Stout, who left Brigham Young University's business school for the Persian Gulf war. "These people are afraid . . . but the Americans are tired. We want to go home to our families. When we get the order to leave, we will be happy to leave."