Good Evening Everyone,
I haven't really updated you for a while on what has been going on with us, so I want to give you a quick review.
We had a nice decrease in the number of patients that we treated in the month of January, however, February has not been so kind. Our numbers have increased as new units move into the area. We have also been short of medics. Our numbers have decreased because several have been sent home secondary to injuries and one of our finest soldiers who was our Personnel Clerk went home on leave and returned pregnant. So, she was sent home. We are also rotating leave among the troops. So, at anytime 10% of our troops are home on leave and so others have to step up and cover them while they are gone. Currently, our medics are working between 48-72 hours a week. But I have to say, not one of them are complaining and their quality of care is still top notch.
As far a providers go, we are still short. Travis went home on leave in January and Andy was sent to another base at about the same time. Travis finally returned, thank goodness, as we desperately needed him. But Mike is getting ready to take his leave and Andy has yet to return.
So we are going to remain short for approximately another month.
We did receive a new physician who has been a God send. His name is LTC Perez and he is a physician from Guam. He is a wonderfully gifted man and has served as a mentor to us and has provided us with his calm assurance and his timely wisdom. I will get a picture of him a little later. He is like a father figure to our troops and to us providers and we are trying to see if he will stay longer. Wish us luck.
We received a new pharmacy tech. named SPC Smith. She is getting her legs here as she is used to working in a large hospital pharmacy. Here she has to get used to the bare essentials so it is quite and adjustment.
We will be having another summit with some Iraqi physicians towards the end of this month. We are trying to evaluate their needs and attempting to bring their clinics up to speed as far as equipment and personnel training goes.
One of our most dedicated NCO's, SSG Julian, was sent home last week. This has been devestating to us as he is perhaps our most competent NCO. He was having pain in his neck and then lost feeling in his arms and so we air evacuated him to Germany where it was determined that he had a cervical nerve root compression and he needed surgery immediately. As a result of his loss, we have had to have others step up and take a leadership role among our enlisted troops.
We also had Tim, our RN, go home for emergency leave as his father had a stroke. We miss him tremendously and we are praying for his father and his family.
We received a new dentist within the last few weeks. His name is Dr. Mcleary. He is a good ole boy from Alabama. He actually did some work on me today and I got a little nervous when he looked into my mouth and goes, "I didn't know that adults had 32 teeth." Apparently in Alabama he has never seen such a mouthful of teeth. Seriously though, he is awesome and fits right in with us delinquents.
Finally, we have found out that Dr. Mike Jones is coming next month for a rotation. Mike is one of our own. I have worked with him for over 10 years and he is going to be a great fit. He used to be the commander of this unit, so most of the soldiers have worked with him. He is even more of a trouble maker than we are. So, our command is going to have their hands full when we all are here at one time.
Well, as far as our mission goes, we are staying busy. Everyday is like Ground Hogs Day. It is the same everyday. But the Lord has blessed us this month as we have not had to treat any war injuries this month. I did notice that a young man from Beardstown, Illinois was killed recently and that just breaks my heart. We all get so angry when we hear of another soldier who has given his/her all. It is the life we have chosen but it is still a tough pill to swallow.
I want to thank everyone for your prayers and for your words of encouragement. I want you to know that the Lord is working and moving here in Iraq. I believe that as long as a servant is willing to carry the Word, then their is hope. We have hope for this country and faith that the Lord will change the heart of our enemies. I pray for them.
I hope you are all well and I will keep you all in my prayers.