Midweek update October 18

October 17th

As darkness fell I made my way over once again to guard mount for one of the sectors that our security folks watch over. This was a sector that I had not been to previously. I spent five hours out visiting the troops on the various posts. The city has an entirely different feel to it looking out from the towers at night. You see the city lights pushing back the shadows of darkness to reveal a vibrant city. People are coming and going. Markets were thriving. One could almost feel that he could step outside the perimeter and walk down the street for a cup of coffee or a pastry. But the wire, the weapons, and the vigilance remind you quickly that there are people killing one another out there.

I did have a great honor last night. I was asked by one of the young sergeants to do her re-enlistment. So in the middle of the dark night with the stars clear over head, standing at the base of one of our towers, and oil fires glowing in the background, as her team member held a small flag, I administered to oath of office to her and we congratulated her on continuing her career with the Air Force.

After midnight I made my way over to our EMEDS to check on folks there to find that a 9 line (casualty notification) was being made. The surgical team was woken up and people assembled and quickly, amazingly quick, they were ready. This time the patients were diverted to Ballad so that our team could get some much needed rest.

Today, the 18th of October that rest came in handy as this morning we had a couple of wounded come in. Once again our team did a great job and our guys are on their way to Ballad and recovery. After lunch the entire chapel team, Army and Air Force, met with the Medical Commander for some orientation and training. I had suggested that perhaps the chapel staff could be a solution for a few issues we have observed around the EMEDS the last few times we have had casualties and he had graciously agreed to put us to work in a more productive way. So today, our chapel staffs became much more integrated into the whole medical team and hopefully we can make even more of a difference than before.