As the song goes by REO Speedwagon… It’s Time For Me To Fly… It certainly goes by fast. At least it does for me. But in real time, it’s a chunk of life. Just think about 3 months. What do you plan on doing for the next 3 months. How much does your family need you over that time? What about your work? It’s hard on those back home. Now think about a year, because that’s how long the rest of this team spends here. It’s a daunting commitment.
The surgeons are the lucky ones. We do the work that we really love to do and we do it for people who are incredibly deserving of the best care possible. So don’t ever worry about us. We get more back than we could ever put in.
Plus, it’s not all war all the time. We get time to enjoy the finer things in life. Like shooting a SCAR heavy! … that’s what put’s a big smile on my face.
I get to meet really good people. But frankly, we come and go. We’re visitors to the team that stays here for an entire year. The photo above was taken with two providers that were leaving (the middle guys with helmets). Other people will replace me, and the cycle will continue. I’m not the only FaST Surgeon in town.
The medical provider teams out in forward locations can be quite small. We cover 24/7. But there’s enough down time to recover. It’s not much unlike being a fire fighter. There’s tons of time to sit at the fire station. Most fires are readily manageable with the assets that you have. But when the fire rages, it can challenging.
But it’s the team that counts. The surgeons and anesthesia providers are supported by nurses, medics, technicians and administrative staff that make it all possible. I thank the 94th CSH(FWD) for their great leadership and ongoing commitment to providing the best care possible. I thank my former team (the 909th) for giving me a terrific baseline of experience and knowledge, helping me come well prepared for this deployment.
So, with that… I’ll leave you with sunset pictures of FOB Salerno. Let it serve as my metaphorical cowboy ride into the sunset. Let’s all hope that this war comes to a close as soon as possible.