Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Training Completed

This is me getting ready to do a patrol exercise.

Good Evening,

I have decided to start a blog so that I could update you all as I move forward in my mobilization to Iraq. As many of you know, I have been activated numerous times since 9-11 and each time is no easier then the previous. But through it all, you have been generous with your prayers and support. I am so thankful to you all for taking care of my family when I am gone. I have had so many people who offered their assistance to Karen and Karis that I can't keep track of the kindness. So, I would like to start this first entry by thanking our friends for your thoughtful offerings.

I am attached to the 215th ASMC which is a medical company. We are being sent to Camp Anaconda, located in Balad, Iraq. We are a medical and ambulance company and we will be taking over a clinic. Our mission is to provide care for soldiers and contractors who are stationed at Anaconda. Some of our medics maybe tasked out to support other units as they go outside the wire for missions. At this point, we are not sure about the specifics. I have been given the opportunity to be the Officer in Charge of this medical mission, but I have wonderful support. We have 4 PA's, 1 RN, 60+ medics, and a support platoon of mechanics, cooks, and supply personnel.

We are so blessed to have some of the finest medical officers the Army has to offer. The first PA is Captain Mike Roscoe. He is a Professor at Butler University and works as an Emergency Room PA in his off hours. He is getting ready to be promoted to the rank of Major and so he will be sharing the OIC duties as we get this mission started. He is also finishing up his disertation and is hoping to complete his PhD. soon. The second PA is Lieutenant Bryan McFarland. He works in Evansville, Indiana as an orthopedic PA. He is in a practice that focuses on surgery of the upper extremities. He is also due to be promoted to the rank of Captain. He was, at one time, in the Navy, but we don't hold that against him and love him as if he were our own. Finally, we have Lieutenant Travis Welch. Travis is an orthopedic PA and works in Indianapolis. He came up through the enlisted ranks, where he served as a combat medic for the 101st Airborne Division.
Both Lt. Welch and Cpt. Roscoe have had a previous deployment to Afghanistan so they bring a wealth of knowledge to this deployment.

In addition to the PA's, we have Lieutenant Tim Nott who is our Registered Nurse for this trip. He will actually be in charge of making sure that the medics are doing what they are supposed to be doing. He will take care of making out their assignments and will serve as a our mass casualty triage nurse. He is an emergency medicine nurse and he fits right in with the rest of us misfits.
We mobilized in August and was sent here to Ft. Lewis, Washington for training. Our soldiers were trained up on their basic soldiering task to include qualifying with their weapons, practicing convoy security, identifying and reacting to IED's, and base security. Finally, towards the end of the month we went through medical training which concluded with a mass casualty exercise. I will post some pictures or our training this month in a day or two. We have now finished our training requirements and so we are going to have a 4 days pass before we ship out. Our ship date out of the country is 2 October. We are eager to get started.

I am exited about this deployment as I know that we will be used to help soldiers complete their missions. On the other hand, we all dread leaving our families and loved ones behind. I honestly, think that it is harder on them than it is us. Again, I am so thankful that Karen and Karis have friends that will share this year with them.

I would like to conclude this blog by saying that, I believe that the Lord puts us in places where he knows we can serve. I look at this year as just another opportunity to serve Christ. It is my prayer that Christ will be glorified through this deployment.
Well, I pray that you are all well and I look forward to any feed back that you would like to provide. I will keep you all on my prayer list and I would ask that you do the same for my family and me.

Please check back often as I will update this post every few days.


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