The blazing sun beats down on a group of Honduran villagers who stand outside a barbed-wire gate waiting for their turn for medical or dental treatment from a team of American military doctors.

For some, the waiting follows hours of walking along rocky paths, carrying one or more small children as other children tag along behind.

The blazing sun beats down on a group of Honduran villagers who stand outside a barbed-wire gate waiting for their turn for medical or dental treatment from a team of American military doctors.

For some, the waiting follows hours of walking along rocky paths, carrying one or more small children as other children tag along behind.They may or may not know why the doctors and thousands of other U.S. soldiers have pushed back the cactus and trees and built a fort strewn with tents near their town.

They might know something about guerrilla warfare and insurgents, but they likely know nothing about U.S. foreign policy and the political debate that continues in the United States as the soldiers work nearby.

And it is very doubtful they know anything about Utah, or the fact that one of the American gentlemen greeting them just inside the gate is Utah's governor, Norm Bangerter.

Right now the politics, for these villagers, is insignificant. The fact that a 21-year-old mother of seven children is seeing a dentist for the first time in her life is.

Bangerter visited the remote military camp because many of the troops there are members of the Utah Army National Guard, and because Guard participation in military training within Honduras isn't sitting well with some Eastern governors, including Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, whose state attorney is battling the federal government in court over the issue of state vs. federal control of state "militia" troops in federal overseas exercises.

Defense Department officials have sponsored trips for Bangerter and about a dozen other governors this year to show state officials what the United States is trying to accomplish in Central America. Even the chief of the National Guard Bureau, Lt. Gen. Herbert R. Temple, has personally conducted some of the tours.

"It's safe to say I'm a pretty good supporter of the military in our country," Bangerter said. "We don't sue the federal government about not letting our guardsmen come."

For the soldiers, the Honduran deployment is an opportunity for real-world training while doing something useful for a people in the third poorest country in the region.

Building a 35-mile-long road that will connect produce-rich regions in the northern Aguan River valley with markets in the country's interior is the primary objective of the military deployment, called Fuertes Caminos, which means "strong roads."

This week, guardsmen from the 116th Engineer Company in Springville are working on the road project during a two-week summer camp. When they leave one week from Saturday, replacements will be flown in from other National Guard and reserve units that are also doing summer training.

Support personnel for the engineers bring donated clothing from the United States, build schools, provide medical treatment and even donate veterinary services. Bangerter visited a two-room school being built by guardsmen. He commandeered a saw and a hammer and went to work himself for a few minutes.

With the school finished, residents in the area will be eligible to get a Honduran government-paid teacher, who has to furnish all of the supplies she and her students need on an annual salary of $200 to $300. "When they get a pen or a pencil, it's a big thing," said Col. Michael Donahue.

The troops also practice military security measures in an atmosphere much different than they are used to at Camp Williams.

Several military vehicles have been ambushed while traveling near Camp Dacotah, most recently on April 11 when a U.S. military vehicle was showered with gunfire and rocked by a grenade blast. In February, a bomb was thrown from a moving car at a busload of soldiers, causing several injuries. A vehicle hit by two .38-caliber rounds was displayed for a time at Camp Dacotah's front gate so incoming soldiers could have a visual reminder of the threat that exists.

Honduran guards watch the perimeter of the camp, which is marked by a double layer of fence line made of coiled concertina wire. Magnetic and infrared sensors detect any movements just outside the fence.

"When I take a Guard unit to Camp Williams and try to teach them security, I'm just playing games. But when I bring them here, the situation is different," said Maj. Gen. John L. Matthews, Utah adjutant general.

The troops realize the difference. "We have real ammunition, not blanks," said Lt. Robert Dunton of Logan, who commands an engineer platoon from Springville. "We're taking it very serious. We always try to during training, but in Utah it's just not quite the same."

Even the cooks agree they benefit more by training in the field away from ready supplies of fresh groceries. "Usually I'm cooking fresh food. We do a lot of our training by pulling a manual out of our hip pocket and trying to do what it says," said Staff Sgt. Boyd Smith of Springville.

At the Honduras camp, Smith works to make dehydrated foods palatable along with other prepared meal items packed in large metal and foil containers. Next to the kitchen is a bakery where several people were preparing dinner rolls as Bangerter and his official party came through on an official tour.

Troops working on the road and others who were off duty went out of their way to meet the governor.

"We're really having a good time out here, and we know we're appreciated," said Sgt. Eddie Stallings, who talked with Bangerter from the door of his tent. A young parrot sat perched on Stallings' shoulder - a purchase from a youngster he met near the camp. "It's nice to know we're accomplishing a project we know is needed."

U.S. military leaders have been accused of building the road as a military tool that could be used to benefit the Contras if they resume their battle against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. But mile after mile of jungle and rugged terrain separates the road project on the north from the Contra camps in southern Honduras near the Nicaraguan border.

U.S. Embassy officials visit the Contra camps, where food and other U.S. humanitarian aid is being brought to about 11,000 Contras and about 50,000 of their family members. Military representatives, on the other hand, are not allowed in the area of the camps, either on the ground or in the air.

They may or may not know why the doctors and thousands of other U.S. soldiers have pushed back the cactus and trees and built a fort strewn with tents near their town.

They might know something about guerrilla warfare and insurgents, but they likely know nothing about U.S. foreign policy and the political debate that continues in the United States as the soldiers work nearby.

And it is very doubtful they know anything about Utah, or the fact that one of the American gentlemen greeting them just inside the gate is Utah's governor, Norm Bangerter.

Right now the politics, for these villagers, is insignificant. The fact that a 21-year-old mother of seven children is seeing a dentist for the first time in her life is.

Bangerter visited the remote military camp because many of the troops there are members of the Utah Army National Guard, and because Guard participation in military training within Honduras isn't sitting well with some Eastern governors, including Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, whose state attorney is battling the federal government in court over the issue of state vs. federal control of state "militia" troops in federal overseas exercises.

Defense Department officials have sponsored trips for Bangerter and about a dozen other governors this year to show state officials what the United States is trying to accomplish in Central America. Even the chief of the National Guard Bureau, Lt. Gen. Herbert R. Temple, has personally conducted some of the tours.

"It's safe to say I'm a pretty good supporter of the military in our country," Bangerter said. "We don't sue the federal government about not letting our guardsmen come."

For the soldiers, the Honduran deployment is an opportunity for real-world training while doing something useful for a people in the third poorest country in the region.

Building a 35-mile-long road that will connect produce-rich regions in the northern Aguan River valley with markets in the country's interior is the primary objective of the military deployment, called Fuertes Caminos, which means "strong roads."

This week, guardsmen from the 116th Engineer Company in Springville are working on the road project during a two-week summer camp. When they leave one week from Saturday, replacements will be flown in from other National Guard and reserve units that are also doing summer training.

Support personnel for the engineers bring donated clothing from the United States, build schools, provide medical treatment and even donate veterinary services. Bangerter visited a two-room school being built by guardsmen. He commandeered a saw and a hammer and went to work himself for a few minutes.

With the school finished, residents in the area will be eligible to get a Honduran government-paid teacher, who has to furnish all of the supplies she and her students need on an annual salary of $200 to $300. "When they get a pen or a pencil, it's a big thing," said Col. Michael Donahue.

The troops also practice military security measures in an atmosphere much different than they are used to at Camp Williams.

Several military vehicles have been ambushed while traveling near Camp Dacotah, most recently on April 11 when a U.S. military vehicle was showered with gunfire and rocked by a grenade blast. In February, a bomb was thrown from a moving car at a busload of soldiers, causing several injuries. A vehicle hit by two .38-caliber rounds was displayed for a time at Camp Dacotah's front gate so incoming soldiers could have a visual reminder of the threat that exists.

Honduran guards watch the perimeter of the camp, which is marked by a double layer of fence line made of coiled concertina wire. Magnetic and infrared sensors detect any movements just outside the fence.

"When I take a Guard unit to Camp Williams and try to teach them security, I'm just playing games. But when I bring them here, the situation is different," said Maj. Gen. John L. Matthews, Utah adjutant general.

The troops realize the difference. "We have real ammunition, not blanks," said Lt. Robert Dunton of Logan, who commands an engineer platoon from Springville. "We're taking it very serious. We always try to during training, but in Utah it's just not quite the same."

Even the cooks agree they benefit more by training in the field away from ready supplies of fresh groceries. "Usually I'm cooking fresh food. We do a lot of our training by pulling a manual out of our hip pocket and trying to do what it says," said Staff Sgt. Boyd Smith of Springville.

At the Honduras camp, Smith works to make dehydrated foods palatable along with other prepared meal items packed in large metal and foil containers. Next to the kitchen is a bakery where several people were preparing dinner rolls as Bangerter and his official party came through on an official tour.

Troops working on the road and others who were off duty went out of their way to meet the governor.

"We're really having a good time out here, and we know we're appreciated," said Sgt. Eddie Stallings, who talked with Bangerter from the door of his tent. A young parrot sat perched on Stallings' shoulder - a purchase from a youngster he met near the camp. "It's nice to know we're accomplishing a project we know is needed."

U.S. military leaders have been accused of building the road as a military tool that could be used to benefit the Contras if they resume their battle against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. But mile after mile of jungle and rugged terrain separates the road project on the north from the Contra camps in southern Honduras near the Nicaraguan border.

U.S. Embassy officials visit the Contra camps, where food and other U.S. humanitarian aid is being brought to about 11,000 Contras and about 50,000 of their family members. Military representatives, on the other hand, are not allowed in the area of the camps, either on the ground or in the air.

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(ADDITIONAL INFORMATION)

Specialists lend helping hand to Guard and villagers

Training specialties that help Guard and reserve military components train and also help local villagers include:

- Road-building engineers, who perform the principal task of building a section of a new road that will connect agricultural areas with inland market areas.

- Doctors and dentists, who travel once a week into the communities in thearea surrounding Camp Dacotah, and who see villagers at the camp once a week. The only full-blown evacuation hospital currently deployed is at the camp.

- Animal health officers, like veterinarians, who help promote the well-being of local livestock. Cattle and humans share more than 300 diseases, including tuberculosis, which is one reason animal health is important to the health of the overall population.

- Carpenters, who have built one school and are building three more. School space is scarce, and the government sends teachers only to areas where a school is ready. Even then, teachers must furnish their own supplies on an annual salary of $200 to $300.