Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Some days aren't always the same

Sorry for the time gap in posts. Sometimes I am either to busy or just way to tired. I did have an experience worth posting to my loved ones.

I was helping take down a tent and getting rid of some expired medical supplies a couple of days ago. Just as we had finished rolling up the tent one of the medics came out of the ER and asked us if we would help bring a gun shot victim into the hospital, the man would be landing by helicopter in about five mins.

We suited up and went out with the stretcher to meet the bird. The helicopter came in and we moved in to bring the afghan national off. He had been shot in the chest by special forces a few towns away, for reasons I would find out later, but cannot discuss on here. The man was soaked in blood as we took him off the bird and moved him away from the helipad. As we stopped to check him for weapons or explosive devices I saw him reach out and grab the hand of one of the soldiers helping to bring him in. I am sure it was just out of pure fear of death that he needed the human contact. Over the chopper taking off again I could hear him mumbling to himself over and over again. We go into the hospital and brought him straight to the medical staff that had already prepared for his arrival. As I moved away, I took the blood stained blanket that had been covering him and disposed of it. As I watched the soldier medics work furiously around the patient like a well rehearsed dance I had just noticed the blood that was covering my hands and wrists.

Sometimes I question the reasons I stayed in the military. I think all soldiers do from time to time. The politics and backstabbing can truly crush the positive things you get out of serving. Today was not one of those days. What a truly moving experience to bring a human being near death to a life saving facility. To stand in awe of those trained to heal and provide care for the sick and dying. The adrenaline of that moment will stay with me. More opportunities will come I am sure, but like they always say, you always remember your first. For men and women serving its never been about the big picture. It is always about your small impact in that specific place and in that specific time in which you were called to serve that will matter the most.

It was a very good day.

(sidenote: I did wash my hands and arms about four times after I took the gloves off. I have no idea where that man has been!)

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