Sunday, May 28, 2006

Remember Our Troops on Memorial Day

We watched HBO's Baghdad ER on TV last Friday. It had filming of actual casualties and medical responses in Iraq. An early scene made me think of MASH, which was considered graphic for its time. We saw soldiers brought in to the medical center from battle skirmishes or IED explosions. Not all the soldiers were kids. We saw destruction, amputation, blood – real blood and lots of it. Compared to this, MASH was not graphic.

We also saw the chaplain, the commanders, the doctors, and the compassion. Our troops were hurt, but some were asking to go back to their units. Others were hurt, and asking about their buddies or crying for their friends who did not make it alive to the medical center. It was wrenching and at the same time inspiring.

Between shifts, the doctors and nurses had their coping strategies – the gym, stories and jokes, cigar night – but they heard the explosions and knew they would have to go back. The medical center was open and active all day and night, every day and night. The degree of dedication was represented by one doctor who said he was there to make a difference. When asked if he would do it again, he answered, “In a heartbeat.”

Our heartfelt thanks to all our troops and veterans on Memorial Day 2006.

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