Friday, May 22, 2009

A Quick Update...

Good Afternoon Everyone,

Well we are 76 days away from coming home. We are all getting very excited. The mood around here is festive and we are all getting our gear ready for shipment home. Our medics are busy finishing up their college classes. It is amazing that we can actually have college classes on base where we are. The University of Maryland has a branch here and they offer classes. Their educational director came by earlier in the year and asked if Mike, Myself, Bryan, or Travis could teach the Anatomy and Physiology with Lab. But our schedule is so varied that we couldn't commit. So they flew in a lady from the states and she has done a great job in teaching our soldiers. I would like to go into teaching in the future. I had an offer a few years ago to teach at our local college in Danville, but my job and the Guard schedule wouldn't allow for it. I think I am going to work on my PhD soon. Mike is finishing his up while he has been here and the more I think about it, I think that I would enjoy the challenge.
We have recently been tasked to start a new clinic in Baghdad, so we may be losing a few soldiers for a couple of months.I would like to update you on the situation that happened in Baghdad a week ago or so. As you know we had two car bombs in Baghdad that killed a few of our troops and then one of our own soldiers went into the mental health clinic and killed four soldiers. The impact has been immediate. We have picked up their patient load as they are closed pending investigation.
I have really been troubled by some of the things that I have seen here. The pressure and stress here is at times are overwhelming and our situation is so unique that our civilian lives has nothing to compare it to.My concern is that these multiple deployments are taking its toll on our troops. The military really needs to take a look at how much a soldier can take. We have soldiers who are on their 4th and 5th deployments. All of us have paid a huge price since 9-11. I personally have not had a complete year home yet since 9-11. It is a very difficult situation and we are pushing soldiers to the breaking point. I am not sure what the solution is but perhaps we should consider activating the Selective Service program. We are so short of troops and the ones that we do have have been deployed multiple times. The Selective Service Program is there for a reason. It it is not there for war time needs then why have it?

Anyway, we pray for the families who lost their loved ones here. The unit manning that Mental Health Clinic is from Indiana although the Psychologist was from the active duty navy medicl corps.

I pray for this soldier who committed this awful crime. Everyone needs prayer even the most abhorrent among us. I truly believe that anyone and everyone can be redeemed. Praise the Lord that he has redeemed me. I don't know where I would be had he not guided my steps. I look back in awe at the chain of events, the people in my life, and situations that influenced my life. I am in medicine because of an amazing series of situations and whereas at the time I didn't understand, I have been able to step back and look at God's plan. God is so awesome.

I would like to send out a big thank you to our friend Dr. Perez. He is back home in Guam and yesterday we received a package that had some cool goodies for us. He sent the providers some beautiful Pacific Islander type shirts. We are going to get everyone together Sunday and get some pictures of us wearing them. We will send him a copy and I will post them on this blog. He also sent along some guitar strings for a couple of guys who play guitar. Dr. Perez is fine guitar player and I use to love hearing him playing and singing at night in our clinic when everything was quiet at the end of a busy day. He also forwarded some other much needed things. I know that he probably wouldn't want me to highlight his gifts as he is humble and gives much privately, but we have been so grateful for him that I want everyone to know the quality of this man. God Bless you, my friend.

I found out a few days ago that Karis was selected to attend our MATS program. The MATS program is for the district's gifted children. Currently there are only 5 girls and I believe two boys that have been selected in her grade and that is district wide. So, we are so proud of her. I credit my wife for Karis success as she is the one who ensures that Karis stays on top of her homework and she provides Karis with structure needed for success.

The students in MATS will be together through their entire school years up to graduation from high school. This program is designed as a college prep program and gives children an optimal environment to reach their educational goals.
It is amazing how much our children makes us proud. I have a love for my daughter that transcends all understanding. I absolutely am honored to be my girls father and I relish the role. She is such an honest and tender-hearted, young lady. She loves the Lord and she really is a wonderful Witness.

Well, I have droned on long enough. Things are going well here and we are all staying healthy. We have all become fitness freaks and I am so proud of our soldiers for physically taking care of themselves.God Bless you all and have a great week and thank you for checking in.

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