The Corner

From The Fallujah Front

The brother of a serviceman over in Fallujah right now passes this e-mail from his brother along:

Hello from Camp Fallujah!

I thought I would write to everyone so that the only information you get

isn’t from the Communist News Network. For security reasons, they shut

down the internet for a while and they still have the phone center

closed so I can’t call for awhile. When I get an opportunity, I will

phone some of you and let you know in person that I am OK.

Much of this is excerpted from a letter I wrote to [name deleted] earlier. If you

get a chance, please give her a call. The appliances have been

rebelling as usual. It seems that whenever I deploy a major appliance

decides to act up. I am not sure why. I don’t think that the

appliances were abused or had any sort of developmental problems. But

for some reason, they get together, draw lots and one decides to have a

major meltdown. I think we will have to be like Woody Allen and have a

meeting of all the appliances to lay down the law. Anyway, the dryer

decided to overheat and without [name deleted] noticing that something smelled

funny we might have had a major fire.

As you can imagine we have been quite busy. If you look at the news it

is generally pretty accurate about casualties from what I can tell. The

ER docs and surgeons have been extremely busy in the last 2 days. I

have been helping [name deleted], the ER doc with doing triage and managing

pt flow as I don’t have that many patients. I did see several in the

last couple of days and business is starting to pick up, but I

anticipate that my real busy time will be after all this latest battle

is over. I did see an interesting pt with multiple concussions today

and have admitted him to the ward to observe so I am contributing to the

cause.

….

As you can imagine, life here is quite intense recently. There is a lot

of outgoing artillery fire and the fight is moving closer to us as it

progresses. You shouldn’t worry though because we are well protected

and there are multiple perimeters around us.

I don’t know whether I have told you this before, but there are a lot of

former interns who rotated with me here. They are both physician

assistant students and battalion surgeons. It is kind of fun to see

them and rewarding to work again as a team.

Today, I took a shower, changed underwear, socks and uniform and feel

like a new man. As I was walking from the shower trailers today, I had

a little laugh to myself about the pervasiveness of Disney in our lives.

I was humming the song from Beauty and the Beast, “I’ll be human again.

I’ll be human again.”

Casualty flow has been pretty steady today. Not like yesterday, but

still some significant stuff to deal with. My two roommates are the two

general surgeons and they are really nice guys. I feel kind of bad that

they are up most of the night sometimes while I get to sleep through the

night and have regular hours. Even so, in a short time my time will

come and they will be goofing off so we will see how that goes.

I have two psychologists working here. [Name deleted] is from San Diego

and he is fairly newly licensed. [Name deleted] is from Okinawa and she

is still doing post-doc hours. They are very good and I enjoy working

with them. I have been trying to get out and be more integrated with

the medical staff and I think this will pay off later on. We have three

psych techs. They are each characters in their own right. All of them

have a ready supply of quotes from movies to fit the occasion. I feel

my age when I have no clue what they are referring to. This is a pretty

good crew and when we get time, I hope to impart a little of my

experience to them. It will be interesting to see what happens when

this recent push is over.

Today, we had a rather touching moment. November 10th is the Marine

Corps Birthday. Around mid-morning there was the sound of bagpipes in

the triage area. A Marine in cammies, flak and kevlar played amazing

grace and the Marines hymn. It wasn’t the best bagpipe playing I’ve

heard, but it was fitting. We all stood at attention. When he was

finished we applauded and then went back to work. The corpsmen painted

a large piece of plywood red and then lettered in gold, “Happy 229th

Birthday Marines.” It is a great bunch of folks here.

I have to say that on a day like today, the Marine Corps Birthday, I

have never been more proud to be a Navy Medical Officer. We are doing

the most important thing that we can do, which is to provide the best

possible treatment for our Marines, soldiers and sailors who have been

wounded in battle. It is pretty amazing that anyone who makes it to us

alive has survived. Anyway, I just want you all to realize that our

guys are doing a great job.

I am hoping the demolition will be complete soon and they can get

started on building the new Fallujah Walmart.

Semper Fi guys,

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