You are probably wondering why we have 2 blogs on one day. I felt the first blog about Dean needed to be said and was written and finished some earlier in the day. It needed to stand alone compared to the activity of this late afternoon here in Camp Basrah.
Mortality is a scary word. Lots of times in the medical field we talk about the morbidity of a health situation. If you have an injury what type of disability are you going to have. If you have a surgery what kind of things could go bad and you classify it as the morbidity of the surgery. When we take about mortality we talk about what causes death. The mortality rate of having this kind of cancer or this surgery. You can define mortality as your life. I am mortal today. You can look at your own mortality.
This day shook my mortality like no other before. I believe that we all walk through life and expect things not to happen suddenly. We have talked a lot about how taking everyday for granted is not a good thing to do but how it can tear you up. If you let that impulse control you it can have bad effects. Today though is one of those days that reminds you to tell your family that you love them. To kiss your kids tonight. To take that trip for 3 days just to be with them. Appreciate what you have and not take for granted one more day.
About 445 today we were struck by two large rocket rounds. Yes the camp was hit. We have 3 episodes of this before but not like this. I had just come from the gym and walked into my CHU and was getting settled. I heard one large boom and then the second one knocked me to the floor. It was about 50% shock wave and 50% get down to protect yourself. The scary part in comparison to the others there was no warning sirens. After a bit and not hearing the sirens I went and got my kevlar stuff together and went outside and looked and saw Dean over to the side and he said our dining hall had been hit. I ran over and looked and the front corner of the dining hall was on fire. We certainly had been hit. This facility is 300 yrds away. Scary and frightening I think are the two words to describe this the most. We got our stuff on and went over to the hospital for incoming casualties with the rest of the FST team. That is our job. We have fire and rescue here and the response is for us to go treat incoming wounded. My heart is racing and pounding.
These 3 pictures are of the impact on the dining hall.
Large hole in the front part of our dining hall. I passed 30 feet from here 15 minutes before it hit. This large hole did not cause significant injury to anyone. We waited till all was secure and safe.
I can't help to feel scared. To realize that if this was in a little different direction and 15 minutes earlier that a lot of things would of changed in my life. I can't help to assess my mortality today. We are comfortable hear. You walk around a little invincible and taking it for granted every day. That hole is as big as a car and could rip through anything that I work in or live in. The trajectory went right over our heads while we sat in our CHU's. I am not going to waste today.
Thank you to my parents for all that they have done for me. Thank you to my staff for their help at work and there friendship. Thank you to my sisters for there love and support. Thank you to my patients for letting me take care of you and trusting me to do that. Thank you to Michelle for being a great mother and friend. Thank you to my kids for coming into my life and loving me despite all my faults. Thank you to the people at the surgical center and hospital for all that they due to help me not only as a doctor but as my friend and our patients. Thank you my great friends for being there and helping me - Chad and Heidi Lebar, Sean and Kelli Vonderfecht, Andy Williams, Jon and Anjenette Bonham, Milan and Michele Norton, Kris and Jeff Williams, Nick and Krista Zoebel, Tim Zimmerman, Dave Schram, Mark Keller, Rich Bowen, Diane Judy, Barrett Hogan, Seth Brown, Chad and Clay Sievers, and Jim Newberger, Michelle Batterman, Gary Chingren, and so many others.
I ask you to send a note to a list of people today that you care about them. Tell them thank you today. Not because it is there birthday or Christmas but because you care about them. Don't let mistakes or bad decisions make you lose that friendship or change your relationship. Life is too short. Tell them you love them. Tell them what you need. Tell them how much you care. Appreciate where you are at and what you have right now. Step back and gain perspective. Don't waste another day. Assess your own mortality