Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
I had headcount duty for midnight chow last night. Had this guy's Afghan cousin come through the line; same hair, just on a smaller scale. Same mustache. It was more disturbing than seeing the ANA guys that look like Taliban recruiters. Shocking, even. Who expects to see an Afghan in the boonies doing a stone-cold imitation of a 1950's low-class mafia hood?
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Ok, since I’m back around internet (almost as good as dial up), we’ll do a little catching up on all things medical REMF. Starting with medical facilities. One of the things a lot of young troops or those deployed for the first find surprising is the level of care available here. As in, this isn’t your family doctor’s office. We can handle trauma quite well enough to get someone to a surgical facility as needed; we’ve some of the finest airlift capacity in the world.
If you need labs or x-ray, you’re going to do some traveling. Either across post, or across country, depending on your location. Need an MRI? You’re going out of the country, or not getting one. Manage diabetes? Goodbye Afghanistan, hello Germany, and get ready to be a civilian again. And privacy, here, means we’ll try to not let anyone walk into the cubicle while your pants are around your ankles to the best of our ability.
So what does your typical REMF medic see on an average day? As most would anticipate, there's lots of sports, training, and work-related injuries such as sprains, strains, cuts, and bruises. And given our environment, plenty of stomach and bowel complaints. Then there's the stuff that's less pleasant: the warts (in lots of places, some of them not so enjoyable to work around), fungal infections, hemmerhoids, scabies, and just plain poor hygiene related problems.
Makes me appreciate how outstanding our normal healthcare standards are at home; I hope it makes the same impression on our younger troops who’ve never been exposed to anything else.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
(local village, with a wonderful view for watching us watching them)
A new moon rising, clear sky full of stars, and a gentle breeze wafting the delicate aroma of concentrated portajohn contents to the temporary quarters; just another lovely evening on the FOB. On the upside, a two-hour conversation with a former Captain in the Bosnian army on his experiences in the war, the change in values of both people and commodities during such, and his views on religion, culture, and international relations while waiting for a transport helicopter to arrive.
Monday, April 4, 2011
On the small FOB I'm on, there's probably at least fifty locals at minimum doing various tasks. To date, I've not seen anyone get their jihad on. But then again, we all walk around with weapons. An armed society......... I have heard of some protests out on the roadways, but my impression is that most people getting agitated are just that: getting agitated by some local shit-stirrer looking for a step up in the local jihadi/extremist power structure. Most locals around here a looking to keep the larder stocked more than anything else. Not that most of them have any love for us. Which, as an aside, young males full of testosterone and lacking an appreciation of things outside of aggression, booze, and sex don't make for winning ambassadors in general. Not that that is something new.
I've been on the move lately, and haven't had access to the site. More than likely, I'll be on the move again for several more days. Sorry for the interruption in Sunday postings, but sometimes there just aren't services available for the fun stuff.
Noted above, one of the local transports flying one of my current squad members out to a FOB. I have weakness for Hueys, even the civilian ones. And yes, I mangled the image for security purposes :)