Keeps things in perspective
The diary of a surgeon in a warzone.
Today we officially took over for the team we are replacing. They will be here for a few more days, but we will now take care of casualties. The team before us did a great job during a very busy time. I can't tell you how much better life is with all the email, comments, pictures, videos from my friends and family. While I am far away I really feel like I am back home when I get to see and hear everyone almost every day. Trevor and Madison started school today and you can see some school pics on our families website (link on the right of this page), I think Tyler starts next week. They both got to get up in front of their class and talk about their dad being in Iraq. Madison was cute, she told the class her dad joined the Navy before he knew about the war...I gues she was right. Trevor had to explain that I was not fighting in the war, but I was taking care of the wounded. Tyler, of course, had no idea I was even gone, asking Debbie today where I was.I am so proud of the way Debbie and the kids have handled my deployment so far, it is definitely harder on them than it is on me.
Here is the surgical team deployed with me to Ramadi. From left to right: LCDR Christian Clark (orthopedic surgeon), LCDR Dave Junker (anesthesiologist), yours truly, LTJG Richard White (2nd tour, previously a Navy corpsman and now a physician assistant), HM3 Tony Rogero (2nd tour, Navy corpsman and previous Purple Heart recipient), HM3 Hugo Loera (Navy Corpsman and surgical tech), LT James Nowell (ICU nurse back home, but ER/OR/ICU and evacuation nurse in Iraq), HM3 David Leyva (Navy Corpsman and surgical tech). All have left friends family back home to come provide medical care for the casualties of this conflict and I look forward to proudly serving with each of them. We have had just a few scattered casualties so far, but nothing serious and nothing requiring surgery. The booming artillery fire leaving our base takes some getting used to, but I feel much better knowing most of it is outgoing and not incoming. Take care.