We continue to receive casualties and they continue to be mostly Afghans. Over the past few weeks it has been feast or famine. We may go two or three days without a patient (talk about looooooong days) and then we will get three or eight. Yesterday we had four – three from an IED (one gentleman died in the FST) and a young Afghan child who got her hand caught in a machine that makes bread. The young girl did not have any fractures, but she had a very complicated injury (her skin and soft tissues were severely torn) that required washout and repair in the OR. Had we not been here to treat her she would not have received the care she needed in this country. Our surgeons did an unbelievable job cleaning and closing her wound. She should go on to live a normal life. It’s a feel-good story and one that makes being here worthwhile. I almost forgot to mention that she was probably in the FST for 3 or 4 hours and I never heard her cry. She was very tough, but it comes with the territory. You kind of have to be to grow up in Afghanistan.
Speaking of the war, I’m not sure what to make of the "shake-up" at the top. I hear that some of the Rules of Engagement may change with General Petreus now running the show. Not exactly sure what that means for our team, but it may mean less casualties and that is always good.
To end on a high note, I received some good news this week when I was informed I was selected for promotion to Commander (Lieutenant Colonel for those familiar with ranks of the “other” services). The promotion, of course, comes with a bigger paycheck but it also comes with greater responsibilities. Judi and I are very excited about the opportunity. When my recruiter, HM1 William Jones (I still remember his name), came into my nursing class at IUP in 1993 and gave his spiel about all the Navy had to offer I thought it was an excellent opportunity and figured I would do my four years and come back to PA. But the longer we stayed the more we enjoyed it. I’m not sure how I was able to stay in for 15 years, but I’m certain I could not have done it without Judi. Thanks Baby! We are in for at least 5 more.
Finally, if you happen to be driving past 119 South Main Street in Carrolltown please don’t be alarmed. That isn’t a new zoo. It’s just Judi and her sister Becky showing their love for animals by taking care of eight, yes eight, stray cats in addition to the two dogs they already have.
p.s. thank god soccer is over! Only "33" Merril Hoge days until the Steelers open camp - can't wait!
Cowher Under The Steeler Blankie