Monday, February 26, 2007

IA, IPF, and insurgents...oh, my!

We had our first fallen angel (deceased active duty member) come thru the hospital about having reality smacking you in the face. Hard on all the new staff, especially. When we know an angel is coming in, we line up along the route from the helo pad to the hospital and pay our respects at attention and salute him/her as they are carried down to the SSTP (shock/trauma/casuality receiving area). They sacrificed all for our way of life.....and I felt honored to pay my respects.
We care for a wide variety of patients.....basically it's whoever rolls thru the door. We took a suspected insurgent to surgery two days ago to wash out and I&D some lower extremity wounds. He was behind a door that the patrol couldn't open. They blew it up with a C-4 charge, and he happened to be behind it (they gave him fair warning first). I'm telling my team that first and formost: you are in no position to judge anyone that we are called upon to care for, and that I expect everyone to be treated decently, regardless of nationality or actions that may have brought them there. So far, so good.......
We were also caring for an IPF (Iraqi Police Force, IA: Iraqi Army) member that fell off a ladder and had several burst fractures along his spine. He and his brother stayed with us for several days.....we were lucky to have his brother, who spoke pretty good English! We also have two interpreters on staff.....I can already tell I would be lost without them....
I purposely started off a little somber, that way I could end on a lighter note: I'm also getting some time to explore the base when I'm not at work. One of the departing ERCN's (En Route Care Nurse) showed my buddy Pat and I some of the cooler parts of the base that are within running distance. Yesterday afternoon she showed us the Al Asad Oasis, an old abandoned Russian MIG, and an old Iraqi outpost. A welcome diversion from the hospital to say the least.
As promised, Saddam's Pool story: this base also housed some of the Iraqi Olympic Team, and the indoor pool is quite impressive when contrasted to the simple and utilitarian structures surrounding it. The legend goes that Saddam was here often, and he would tour the air squadrons, soccer team (stadium isn't too far away, either), and swim team progress.....the slowest swimmer was often hung in front of the pool to "motivate" the other swim team members........I don't remember if they won any medals, so I suspect this somehow wasn't the best motivator....anyway, it makes for a great story whether it's true or not.


Vanessa said...

Very moving entry, Carl. Thank you for sharing. Hope you don't mind--I copied and pasted this entry to my blog.
God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Carl, again thanks for all you are doing...helping everyone who needs your skill and kindness. I pray you won't have anymore angels come through, but I fear that you will. No mention of Margaritas yet. I was gonna send you some salt. God bless us, everyone.
ChiTown Sandy

Clint said...

Hey Carl,

Glad to see you made it there ok. Hope all is going well. We are all thinking about you.

Ness said...

Carl, this was a comment left on my blog.

Dear Vanessa:

A new comment has been submitted to your weblog "Beauty For Ashes," on the post "Desert Flier Entry."

Comment from:

Name: Mo Moss
Email: removed
IP: removed


I am so proud of the desert flier and have read each one of the emails since getting your news letter. GOD BLESS YOU ALL. waymo

Ali Michel said...

Hey Carl, I'm using Kev's google address. Just wanted to let you know that I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers everyday. I know you are going through things over there that nobody should ever be faced with, but if anyone can do it, it's you. You are a great nurse and a wonderful friend to me and Kevin. Please take care of yourself and be safe. I'll stay in touch. God Bless and thanks for all your hard work. Ali Michel

Anonymous said...

not sure if I'm doing this right...I've never email like this. but if you get this I just wanted to say I'm learning alot from your blog. It is a great way to say in touch. I will keep you in my prayers...and I hope your wiley X are working out for you.