MARYSVILLE — Stephenie Headings, with the unchecked enthusiasm that only a 7-year-old could muster when facing a couple of hours of medical exams, asked the same questions time and again.
“Is it my turn yet, Mom?” she asked, bouncing on tiptoes in her cowboy boots and running over to peek in a room where a man in camouflage fatigues was testing someone’s hearing. “Can I go in?”
Rebekah Headings laughed. “Don’t worry,” she told her youngest of four daughters as she corralled them through a free health-care clinic Saturday morning. “You’ll get to go in there, too.”
The Headingses, a family of six, were among those who visited the Ohio National Guard’s GuardCare, an annual clinic presented each summer or fall in a different medically underserved community in the state in partnership with the Ohio Department of Health and local health departments.
This weekend, GuardCare is visiting the Union County Health Department, 940 London Ave. in Marysville; a similar event was held in Madison County this past weekend. The program continues from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday and no appointment is necessary.
Anyone can make use of the services offered. No proof of income, insurance or residency is required. That’s not what GuardCare is about. It’s about training. And so much more, said Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman, adjutant general of the Ohio National Guard.
He said most people know about the Guard’s federal and state missions — to deploy overseas to assist a U.S. war effort and to help when called upon in state disasters. But that’s not all.
“Our third mission is our community mission. We have soldiers and airmen that live in almost every county in the state of Ohio,” Bartman said. “GuardCare is an opportunity for them to give back to the community in which they live.”
People this weekend can visit any or all of 17 medical stations set up in conference rooms, hallways and…