Now that my brother is established in the sandbox I figured I'd share some of the emails for a first hand account of things. I will try and spare you guys some of the more mundane ones but letters from soldiers often are. Obviosuly certain information (mostly personal) will be removed.
As some may know my brother is a Flight Surgeon for a Stryker unit currently deployed in an undisclosed shitty location.
Note to the Grammer Nazis: Email time is brief and he don't have time for fancy things like capitalization and correct punctuation.
sorry i took so long getting back to you. i really appreciate yourhelp
in getting some movies. in took some time and put together a long list. if
you send 5 at a time, as you suggested, i will be the beneficiary of more
mail. that's a bigdeal here. but any way you can get me even some of these
i'd have some happiness.i took some time going thru that website that you
posted and found several.
things here are obviously very tough in some ways, and i'm not sure how
i'll put up with a year of it. on the other hand, i have it better than a
lotof others in some ways too. as i've told you, i'm sleeping in our aid
station for now and it's concrete. so if mortars hit, i have concrete around
me. so far, i havent left the fob. i know it won't always be that way, but i'm
happy for the days i stay here. we get some pretty bad trauma cases.
the infantry guys that get blown up and bombed and shot all come here if
were closest. some guys are lucky and healwell, others go home for good and
some are already dead. it's a strange feeling seeing gunshot wounds on
living soldiers and working to help them get patched up, put on a blackhawk
and fly them to a combat surgical hospital (like a mash unit). here we just
stop bleeding, put tubes down their throat, tubes in their chest, etc...it's
good experience for me and i always hoped to help save someones life.
we have a chow hall with good food, and i have a section for my stuff and to
sleep by hanging blankets around me. my area is about 8' x 12'.the hardest part
is theres a bunch of us here, and it's never quiet. anyway, i can't
complain. i miss ,y daughter. i miss time off and freedom. if i walk around the fob to
much, there's shooting usually somewhere, there's craters in the ground from
mortar attacks. i don't take any big chances. i've got a long road
ahead of me, but i can't wait for it to be done. times like this definately
makes me realize how important my family is and how unimportant money is.
anyway, thanks for helping, thanks for always helping for that matter.
you're a great brother and good man. ok here's a list of movies in no
particular order......the green mile, cool hand luke, deer hunter,
caddyshack, 40 year old virgin, passion of christ, 6th sense, meet the
fockers, raiders of the lost ark, war of the worlds, excorsist,
gladiator, mummy returns, fugitive, something about mary, national treasure,
deliverance, animal house, good morning vietnam, blazing saddles,
godfathers123, for a few dollars more... that's plenty. thanks
BTW, lest you charitable types want to donate - don't even think about it.
I've got it covered. If you want to donate DVDs Cinncinatus had a topic going and his guys also were in need of movies.
I wouldnt mind mailing him some movies. IM me with the ones you havent sent him and I try to pick up the rest.
Thanks but I got this one covered. I do appreciate the offer though.
Tell him I thanked him for his service....sounds like a real bitch working in the aid station like that.
I know I couldn't do it.
Hey, I am on a FOB not to far away from him. I make the trip out to his CASH once every two weeks or so. If he needs anything, have him let you know and IM me and I will do my best to procure it. It sounds like he is pretty down in the dumps right now for some reason. If there is anything I can do to cheer him up, let me know. From someone that has spent alomost 2 years in Iraq since the war started and left behind a wife and baby daughter, the way he is looking at things is not the way to go about it. Instead of concentrating on getting home. he should be concentrating on how to make the biggest difference he can to everyone he comes into contact with. Anyone can make it through a year in a war zone mentally, a hero is the one that stops worrying about his lot in life and worries about everyone else instead. I wish there was a way to explaine that to troops just coming into the country. some figure it out qucikly, and some never do. Anyways, like i said, if either of you guys need anything from me, let me know.
after 2 weeks in kuwait and a month in iraq, it's nice to change the
page on the calendar. it doesn't feel like it's going fast at all. they say you
shouldn't wish time away, but i think this is a fair exception. i am
staying mostly busy and having many opportunities and experiences.i am getting
settled more in my surroundings. probably the worst thing is knowing
that there's a danger in everything you do here. complacency and taking
chances cost the most. unfortunately, i don't get too much sleep or rest,
other little things like no real flushable toilets, having to walk thru
the dirt over a hundred yards to go to the bathroom, not sleeping in a bed
or having a room, and a long list of other amenities make things more
austere than i prefer. on the upside, i am in a concrete building (read safer
from mortars and rockets), for pretty much 24 hours a day every day.
lately i am gaining new understanding and appreciation for us being over here. i
work with an iraqi physician and we spend a lot of time talking about the
situation of his country. he was born and raised here. he talks
about living in fear under saddam. his wife and daughters live only a
few miles away and he can not leave to see them except on rare occasions in
disguise. if he is discovered as an ally to our cause they will kill
him, his wife and daughters. his brother was assisting as an interpreter at
the beginning of this year and the insurgents shot him in the head 5 times.
he helps us in the aid station because he believes we are helping.
we see a lot of trauma here. there are many happy occasions when a soldier is going
to make a complete recovery after being blown up or shotup, there are also
such terribly sad ones when soldiers are dead before they make it to us.
although i've seen so many gunshot wounds from hunting for years it seems so
unreal on people. recently one soldier came in, shot thru his lower leg, shot
again thru his upper leg with the bullet continually expanding through his
other leg and coming out blowing away his entire right buttock. i had his
bleeding controlled and sent him to a surgical hospital and found out he made it
thru surgery. now he's going home for good. he has been in the army for 2
months. i miss being with my family the most. i miss freedom to go out and play
i can climb up on the roof of the aid station here and look
past the wall at the city. it looks a lot like a mexican bordertown.
it's pretty dirty. i feel bad for the people who live here among all
this. they can't really go out and play much either. terrorism against
citizens and corruption are rampant. i hope changes for the better take place
soon. with the time i have left in the military, there is a very real
possibility that i may have to come back here again.for now i just want to come
home in 1 piece, uninjured. so as i said, september is gone. i wish i could see
the leaves changing color back home or watch the nothern lights that are
coming out. i wish i could go hunting. i wish i could drive - oh, gas here is
5 cents a gallon.
i pretty much have what i need. if anyone has any
outdoor adventures, please email the stories. i'd love to read about them.
temperatures here are no longer over 100 degrees every day, but the
flies are getting pretty bad. also, snail mail is great. it's a big event for
all of us to go see if we got a letter or a package. ok, i'll continue to
keep everyone updated from time to time, more patients to go see.