Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tour #3

A few days ago I saw my brother for the last time before he deploys to Iraq. Again. This will be his third tour in six years, but he will be a medic so he should be a bit safer. He said they don't know where they will be exactly, but it will be close to the Iranian border. I can't believe he's been in the Army six years. He joined up right out of high school and his initial goal was two years. Now he's talking about going career, but what he wants to do for a living changes constantly so I'm hoping he won't choose it as a career. I am very proud of him, but I cannot fathom what he has been through.

His perspective on the war is fascinating. He talks about how they were trained to enter enemy territory on foot, but in Iraq they were given Humvees. He said it was strange, and impossible, to stealthily enter a compound or village when they were rolling down the road in big, rumbling Army vehicles. He said as a medic they will mostly be treating Iraqi citizens who don't have access to a doctor or can't get to the hospital. He is trained in trauma, but most of the time he will be doing basic where does it hurt, how do you feel? care. The injured soliders they do see get enough care to get to Germany. He said they fly people out so quickly they have to work fast to stabilize them and ensure they can handle the duration of the flight. He also explained they have almost all of the usual medical supplies a hospital would, as long as they can get them. It's just amazing to me. They basically have a hospital in the middle of the desert. Granted, it's in tent-like structures, but it's still pretty impressive.

It's been four years since his last tour. I remember the panic every time the phone rang at an odd hour. I remember receiving the call he was injured, but they didn't yet know how bad it was. I can't believe he's going back. We just have to trust that the Lord will keep him safe and bring him back home.

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