Monday, August 8, 2011

Dawning Freedom

 Yesterday was uneventful for the FST but not for me. My mind was racing; my heart sunken low in this river of circumstance I find myself.  I’m still in disbelief over the events from yesterday.  Now it appears more than 31 soldiers were killed in that fateful crash yesterday and among them the heroes of “Seal Team 6”; our “A Team”. The incident was not only close to my current location but also my heart.  Times like this drag you to unpleasant depths, but after appropriate mourning we need to believe these are just moments in time; the greater landscape of life is ahead.  Our togetherness will forge bonds of strength and our determination will solidify our purpose. Freedom seeks those who seek it, we are a people of this fabric; the fibers of our individuality coalesce into our iron will.  Let us be the shining beacon in the distance for all to see, this darkness will turn into light; endowing “belief” in the minds of the non-believers. Prepare your souls, grab your courage; the fight for freedom is just dawning!
It’s now 7:15 AM Monday morning and my iPod alarm screamed; I’m awake and a new week has started.  My boredom thirsts for novel adventures and personal satisfaction. Good things are coming this week. I am rejuvenated and the weather forecast shows only sunny skies.   I start my typical wakeup routine; red bull, Jimi, and a smile, then I head out the door for my 9 AM morning report. 
Two times this week I get to play professor, once today and again Wednesday.  This morning I lectured to our medical unit on “Management of High Bilateral Amputations”.  This is a topic I hope to never see in my current deployed state, but my concerns fall on deaf ears of the improvised explosive device (IED) making insurgents.  The best defense is an offense of preparedness.  The second planned lecture on Wednesday will be for the medics of our unit and Special Forces. I’ve always enjoyed teaching, but it is especially gratifying here knowing the techniques from my lecture may save a soldiers life today.  I plan on lecturing on a multitude of orthopedic topics while I’m here to assist in the professional development of our medical personnel. 
One of the interesting parts of this journey is meeting new faces and learning their stories. Miles (false name for protection) is a perfect example. He is one of the 2 interpreters assigned to our FST to help break down language barriers that exist between us and the Afghan population.  Miles joined our forces 2 year ago working with Special Forces; interpreters are integral to daily missions.  During one of the missions the Humvee he was traveling with was hit with an IED.  He sustained life threatening injuries including severe open fractures of both his legs.  He was surgically fixed and rehabilitated and now another shining example of the good that exists in the Afghan population. Interpreters that assist the U.S. Military are in a precarious position.  Although many locals are supportive of their efforts other are not which brings significant risk to their lives.  The majority of their families are in the dark as to what they do; their job is a secret.  The pay is decent and they live on the base with us so that they are available at a moment’s notice and protected.  Most are single as you would expect.
I did see two orthopedic consults today, so my medical motivation was held at bay.  Also, we were informed that one of our general surgeons will be sent to another FST for a short period of time to assist with increased traumatic volume. Details are sketchy, and his exact departure date is unknown.   
Another day has past; let’s see what tomorrow will bring. Live each day like it’s your last and you will have no regrets.
P.S. I miss my beautiful wife and kids


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